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Northern Lights ceremony

  • Kvernmoveien 272, Gratangen
  •  /  km From You
Overview

Join us in a gripping Northern Lights Ceremony, led by a Sami shaman. According to Sami mythology, the souls of our forefathers dance in the sky. The ceremony involves deciding our relations to our forefathers—each one of you decides your own relations to your own forefathers, for I see my forefathers dancing in the sky, while you see yours.

The shaman explains a little of Sami culture, history, and life, and where the Northern Lights places in this, while we drink chaga-tea.


The Northern Lights has always been an important part of the Sami understanding of reality. The Northern Lights should be treated with respect and reverence. But the Northern Lights were also good friends to the reindeer-herders when they were out alone in the cold of the moors. Even today, with all our technical aids, a reindeer-herder may be joyful when the Northern Lights light up the darkness.


Scientists explain that the Northern Lights are electrical particles from the sun that hit the upper atmosphere of the Earth. This is probably true, but the Sami people also has a different explanation as to why the Northern Lights dance on the sky. The lights are the souls of our forefathers. Therefore the Northern Lights mean much to the indigenous people of North-Europe. We have a connection with the Northern Lights from before we are born, through our lives, until long after we have travelled on to the next world. 


If you see Northern Lights in a blue autumn sky, it is a sign that something beautiful will happen—often the birth of a child or something similar.


In Sami kindergarten we learn children’s songs and stories about guovssahas.


Guovssahas

Guovssahasat vihket, lip lip lii

Buoidi njálmmis, lip lip lii

Veahčir gállus, lip lip lii

Ákšu sealggis, lip lip lip.

(The Northern Lights run, lip lip lii

Grease in the mouth, lip lip lii

Hammer in the pan, lip lip lii

The axe in the back, lip lip lii)


Indoors one can sing this, but if one does so outdoors, so the Northern Lights hear, a mouse-tail starts to grow on the one who sings.


When we grow up we learn to respect the Northern Lights in a different way, since according to the Sami mythology it is the souls of our forefathers that dance on the sky. This means that in the Northern Lights I see the souls of my forefathers, while you see the souls of your forefathers. Each and every one of us develops their relations to their forefathers. 


When we speak of forefathers, it can rouse many different feelings in us. Some have good relations with relations and forefathers, while others may have more strained relations. 


Therefore we have our own ceremony related to the Northern Lights. The ceremony roughly involves that each and every one of us decides their relations to their forefathers. Some like to repeat the ceremony, up to several times a year, while others feel that one Northern Lights Ceremony is enough for a life-time.


But before we start we serve chaga-tea, a holy drink made of birch fungi that gives you the strength and energy to complete the ceremony. You will also receive a piece of tinder that you place in the fireplace as an offering to your forefathers.


When the ceremony is over you will be better prepared to view the Northern Lights, and maybe even attract guovsahas!


Season: October - April

Time: 16.00 – 20.00

Duration: Approx. 2-3 hours

Number of participants: 4-15

Price: Adult NOK 595 / Children (9-16) NOK 395

Meetingplace: Kvernmoveien 272, Gratangen

Included in the price:

Bidos served in heated lavvu


Coffee and cake

Storytelling about sami culture and joik

Serving chaga tea to the ceremony

Sami-northern lights ceremony

Vegetarian and gluten free food are available.


Latest booking:

Booking latest at 16.00 day before departure


  • Last Updated:
  • Source: Visit Narvik AS
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