Significance Of The Northern Lights

The significance of the northern lights is different according to the various writings and ways you look at the lights. Throughout history, there have been legends, significant events, and even battles interrupted due to the northern lights.

Importance of the northern lights in legends

  • Norse mythology in 1855 proclaimed the Valkyrior were warlike virgins due to the northern lights shining on their helmets and spears making the warriors glisten.
  • One Scandinavian legend stated the northern lights were a reflection of the large groups of herring that were reflected into the sky while other depicted the lights as the fire that surrounded the edges of the world.
  • In Finland, the legend revolved around foxes made of fire that took the fire to the sky on their tails.
  • Virmalised was the name of the northern lights in Estonian, which stands for beings of the higher realm.
  • Algonquians believe the lights were created by ancestors dancing around a fire.
  • Russian legends believed the lights were the fire dragon.
  • Alaskan legend explained the northern lights as relatives that had gone to the sky.
  • Point Barrow Eskimos believed the northern lights were evil and carried protection with them at all times.
  • Fox Indians saw the northern lights as an omen of war.

Memorable events

On August 28 and September 2, 1859, the northern lights created such a storm that it could be seen in several locations throughout the world instead of just the normal areas. Reports of the event were reported in newspapers in Europe, Australia, Japan, and the United States along with several ship logs. The second event was noted on September 2, 1859 in Boston, Massachusetts at 1:00 by the New York Times.

The Macedonia king, Philip, did not attack the city of Byzantium in 360 BC due to the northern lights. King Philip had a large tunnel built in order to attach the city at dark; however, the northern lights were illuminating the sky so the soldiers were unable to come from the tunnel for a surprise attack.

Just prior to the death of Julius Caesar, the lights illuminated the sky, which allowed cavalry and infantry soldiers to be seen.

Importance in definitions

The Astrology Weekly describes the northern lights as sun spot cycles with the most significant display on January 25, 1938. At this time in Holland, everyone was waiting to hear the news of Princess Juliana’s baby and when the northern lights illuminated the sky, it was depicted as a good omen.

Other definitions of the northern lights include the glow is due to energetic particles that come from above the atmosphere, reflected sunlight, scattered sunlight, or other forms of airglow.

There are many different speculations of the significance of the northern lights from history, legends, folklore, and scientific documentations. For those that have seen the northern lights in person have their own idea as to the significance of the northern lights whether it is for an explanation of the event or the brilliant beauty of the lights illuminating the sky.

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