Aurora Borealis

Baltic - Coloured lights appearing in the sky in high northern latitudes. (1) In Estonian tales, the lights occur when a celestial war or wedding is taking place and are caused by light reflected from the sumptuous trappings of the sleighs and the horses that draw them. (2) Finnish lore attributes the lights to the souls of the dead. (3) Lappish lore attributes the lights to the spirits of those killed in war or murdered. Greece and Rome In classical times, the lights were generally regarded as natural phenomena but some said that they portended some fateful event. Norse The lights were said to be sunlight reflected from the shields of the Valkyries. North America (1) The Inuit say that the lights are the dance of the dead. (2) In the lore of the Iroquois, the supreme spirit made the maiden Awenhai pregnant, but she came to believe that she had been seduced by Fire Dragon or Aurora Borealis so he pushed all three of them out through the hole in the sky that appeared when he tore up the Onodja Tree. (3) The Kwakiutl also say that the lights are the spirits of the dead, but add that they can portend death in the family of the deceased. (4) In the lore of the Makan, the lights are the fires of a small race in the sky cooking their meat. (5) The Manadan say that the lights occur when medicine men boil their enemies in big pots. (6) The Tlingit say that the lights are the spirits of the dead playing together in the sky. Russia The Chukchi regard this area of the heavens as the home of those who died a violent death. Siberia The Ostyak say the lights are the fires lit by the fish-god Teman' gryem to guide travellers. In some lore, occasionally called Aurora Borealis, Northern lights, Northern lights, aurora borealis, Northern Lights or Northern Lights.

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