I have a habit I've developed when looking for the Aurora, which I'm not ashamed to admit. I sing Pray by Take That, sometimes at the top of my lungs, because rightly or wrongly there appears to me to be a correlation between me singing that and the Aurora appearing. I'll point out, however, that on my most recent Aurora mission I was singing Pray and the lights came out, then I started to sing Nothing Compares To You and they suddenly exploded and filled the entire night sky, so I may be reassessing my tactic. But the point is this - had I been caught singing by a Sámi person then perhaps they wouldn't have been too impressed with me. They say that if you whistle a tune under the Aurora you would summon them closer and closer until they picked you up and took you away with their energy! The Sámi beliefs about the lights aren't solely negative, however. They are considered to be full of the power to aid conflict resolution and have been relied upon to settle feuds.
When viewed from directly underneath, as here in Svalbard, the lights appear to shoot off in all directions in a Corona
In China the lights were believed to be the fiery breath of Dragons fighting in the sky. In Japanese cultures it is believed that a child conceived under the Northern Lights will be blessed with good fortune for the duration of their life. The Eskimos of Eastern Greenland call the lights 'Alugsukat' which means 'Secret birth.' Estonian mythology says that the lights are said to occur when a celestial war is taking place and what you are seeing is the reflections of the sleighs and horses racing across the skies. In Scotland the lights are called 'Fir Chlis' which translates from Gaelic as 'The Merry Dancers.' The
The Fox Indians of Wisconsin saw the Northern Lights as an ill omen. They feared the lights, believing that they were the ghosts of slain enemies awaiting their deadly revenge. The Algonquain Indians didn't have such a negative view of the lights. They believed that after Nanahbozho created the Earth he travelled to the far north where he built great fires, the light from which reflected southwards to remind people of his everlasting love. The Makah Indians also believed the lights were caused by fire, but this time created by dwarfs lighting bright, colourful fires. The Mandan Indians believed the lights were fires upon which soldiers from the northern lands were slowly cooking their dead enemies in huge pots.