Snow dance

You no doubt know about the Native American rain dances.

But maybe you have not heard about the ancient Finnish snow dance?

In the long bygone years it was a tradition of every autumn in every village; re-done several times if necessary, if the skies did not open and swirl down in infinite flakes instead of giving only the chilly and hard patter of water. This had to be so, because in the polar darkness Finland is intolerable if there is no snow: unfrosted forests are black, not green, when the sun doesn’t rise much above the horizon, and in such dripping slick serpent-darkness even breathing’s a pain.

The reason the snow dance is rarely done nowadays is that you’re supposed to do it one more time, in thanks, after snow has fallen: and few people nowadays are willing to go prancing around the sacred sauna building all naked, full of the ceremonial intoxicating liquid, crying loud blasphemies to man, god and devil — naked, and turning from healthy pink to blue to shriveled snow-white as the magic of the dance has its effect.

Also there’s the whole “go and hunt the sacred bear (karhu) with naught but your bare hands to get the skull-cup for your ceremonial drinks” thing that has to be done in preparation, and the youth nowadays, well, sniff, well, not like they used to make them, right? Right? Crashing nakedly through the crush of firs in fierce hand-to-paw combat with the King of the Forest, one or the other sure to lose his head, is too good for them, huh?

Eh, sometimes I lie. Disregard all I said above.

And the reason for this post is that it’s the fecking first of December and there’s no snow; and “dripping slick serpent-darkness” is a much too cheery and kind a description of what it’s like outside.

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