World Snake Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
The Snake Pass
This dance contains a challenging figure of the same name, "the snake pass" which is sometimes also called "the smoke" for its winding and curling path.
The Snake Pass is the name given to the higher reaches of the A57 road where it crosses the Peak District between Manchester and Sheffield in the north of England. More specifically, the name usually refers to the section between the town of Glossop and the Ladybower reservoir, where the road passes over the high ground between the moorland plateaux of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow. There are many famous "Snake Passes" elsewhere in the world of equally windy nature.
Snakes figure prominently in human culture from ancient times, revered or reviled, but a few snakes have made their name in literature:
Asmodeus Poisonteeth from Brian Jacques' Redwall
Kaa from Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
Nag & Nagaina from Rudyard Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi
Nagini from J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter
So whether you are a student of ophidiology, an ophiophilist, or suffer from ophidiophobia, you can either appreciate or overcome the day by mastering the snake pass.
For more about the actual Snake Pass, click the road sign.
See below for a video of this dance performed by the Tay Dancers in 2015.