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This year the East Coast has had record-breaking weather, and not in a way that makes snow-lovers happy. Titus Mountain, along with other east coast ski resorts, have seen little to no natural snow and temperatures too high to make the white gold.
Though the prolific group Five for Fighting sings, “Love can’t change the weather,” it doesn’t stop (and hasn’t stopped) skier and snowboarders from doing everything in their power to bring the pow. Whether we are worshipping the Farmer’s Almanac (who are those guys anyways?) to praying to snow deities to performing snow dances, there are many legends and rituals that are out there.
Are you looking to bring the snow? To get you started, we’re sharing a list of some interesting folklore, mythology, and plain prayers to bring the snow.
Ullr: Nordic God of Snow(?) and Skiing
In old Scandinavian myth, Ullr ("glory") is the god of justice and dueling, as well as the patron god of agriculture. He excels in archery and in skiing and lives in his hall Ydalir ("yew dales"). He is regarded as the son of Sif and the stepson of Thor.
Very little is known about Ullr, as he was born in a time where his legacy would compete with the likes of Thor (who wielded a giant magical hammer so he’s on the loser’s end there; Thor also happens to be his stepfather). While some argue that he is the God of Snow, some vehemently disagree. What many historians and ski aficionados do agree on, however, is that he was very good at skiing and could very well be the God of Skiing. He is often depected as a figure with skis on his feet and a bow and arrow in his hand.
From “Ullr: The Man, The Myth, The Legend,” author David McKee offers the following history: “It is said that Ullr was such a great skier that he would streak across the sky leaving the brilliant stars as his trails (they obviously had some fine powder days). Though very skilled, Ullr guarded his knowledge closely and refused to show the other gods how to ski. Luckily for us, he let the secret out of the bag and we will all be soon celebrating his glory. Next time you are trying to bash through some wind crust or plunge head first into fresh waist deep powder, be sure to invoke his name and remember - ULLR RULES!”
The Heikki Lunta Snow Dance
Unlike Ullr, Heikki Lunta has a more modern history. The Heikki Lunta Snow Dance was created in 1970 in Michigan by radio DJ David Riutta. The song asks Heikki Lunta, a fictional Finnish snow god, for snow in time for a snowmobile race. After the song played on the radio, according to local tales, the snow fell and fell (until there was too much!). In fact, because of the vast amounts of snow that fell, Riutta recorded a second track titled “Heikki Lunta Go Away.”
Since the creation of the Heikki Lunta Snow Dance Song, a range of songs pay homage to “Heikki Lunta,” such as “Make it Snow” by Conga Se Menne, and “Heikki Lunta,” by Da Yoopers. You can listen to all the Heikki Lunta tracks online here or even check out our ode to Heikki Lunta here.
The personification of frost, snow, ice, and cold weather, Jack Frost has roots in Anglo-Saxon and Norse winter traditions. In the United States, he is mentioned many times through popular culture, from songs such as “The Christmas Song” to movies such as “The Santa Cluase 3.” He is generally seen as an antagonist and villain, though has sometimes been portrayed as a hero (he was a member of the Liberty Legion created by Marvel).
At this point, Jack Frost will certainly become a hero to us if he can bring a little nip into the air to help us make some snow!
Chione, the goddess of snow, and Oreithyia, the goddess of cold, gust mountain winds
On the more violent side of history, in Greek mythology, Chione (Khione) was one of the nymphs and was a daughter of Boreas, the god of the wintry north wind. Oreithyia was the wife of Boreas and mother of Chione. She was once a mortal princess, but was abducted by Boreas and became his immortal wife (as mythology states, at least). It is said that prior to the destruction of a large number of barbarian ships due to weather during the Persian War, the Athenians offered sacrifices to Boreas and Oreithyia, praying for their assistance.
If the song isn’t stuck in your head, now it is: Let it go. A more modern pop culture reference, Queen Elsa had the powers to create and manipulate snow and ice with her hands (kind of like our snowmakers with a little help). Apparently in Kentucky, police blamed the cold weather on Elsa recently! Ask your kids to help out on this one and belt “Let it Go” as loud as you can!
The Teacher’s Prayer for Snow
In a letter written to the Washington Post in 2009, John Hillen shared the following prayer:
Oh Lord, let it snow.
Other Traditions and Rituals
Leave it to Wikipedia to add on some additional traditions and superstitions for making it snow!
At Titus, we are doing all these things and more! Another poet, J. Cole once said, “One damn thing you can’t change is the weather. But even if it rain, we get rained on together.” Let’s all work together, through rain, sleet, and SNOW to get this winter season kick started!
From The Slopes
We love the snow, obviously. But there's more to the mountain than just the conditions and the trails. Get the insider's scoop on what helps this industry run, from ski shops to snowboard movies, nature hikes to safety tips. Let us know what you think!