Harry Potter's Birthday
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
“We Slytherins are brave, yes, but not stupid. For instance, given the choice, we will always choose to save our own necks.” ~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
In the Harry Potter Universe, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Salazar Slytherin prized resourcefulness and ambition in his students. He believed that the school should only teach pure-blood witches and wizards. And his ability to speak Parseltongue is why the Slytherin emblem is the serpent. One of the most famous wizards of all, Merlin himself was sorted into Slytherin when he was at Hogwarts. The Order of Merlin, named to commemorate him, has been awarded since the fifteenth century, and legend has it that the First Order of Merlin’s green ribbon reflects his House colours. Sssssssss!
In the Harry Potter Universe, Slytherin House is one of the Houses at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. March 21 is deemed Slytherin House Pride Day!
From the Harry Potter Wiki:
Slytherin is one of the four Houses at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, founded by Salazar Slytherin. In establishing the house, Salazar instructed the Sorting Hat to pick students who had a few particular characteristics he most valued. Those characteristics include: cunning, resourcefulness, and ambition. Many Slytherin students tend to clique together, often acquiring leaders, which further exemplifies Slytherin's ambitious qualities. Examples of these include Draco Malfoy’s Gang and the Death Eaters.
The founder highly valued and favoured pure-blood students and the Sorting Hat admitted that it can be a factor when being Sorted. Students of any blood status can now be placed in the house. However, a Muggle-Born student from that house is considered to be quite rare.
The emblematic animal of the house is a snake and its colours are green and silver. There were two notable heads of the house; Horace Slughorn took the role twice (first leaving in 1981 and then taking the role again from 1997 until leaving before 2016), and Severus Snape. The patron ghost of the house is the Bloody Baron.
Slytherin corresponds roughly with the element of water due to serpents being commonly associated with the sea and lochs in western European mythology, as well as serpents being physically fluid and flexible animals. Similarly, in Celtic mythology, water is seen as a portal to another world, leading some to speculate that the element was chosen to symbolise many Slytherins' hope for a pure-blood only community. The colours also correspond with waters around lakes and lochs often being green, and silver being often associated with grey rain water.
See below for a video of the dance which contains a snake pass (of course). As a dancer, do you favour or deplore the custom of "hissing" during a snake pass?
Did you know there is a fan tribute tartan designed for this House? Click the tartan below to find out more!