The Snake Pass

World Snake Day

Jul 16

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.

The Snake Pass
The Snake Pass

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