Friday, 18 March 2011
The Näck, naked
If you were perusing my posts about Naiads, Nereids and Mermaids and thinking to yourself "Hmmph! Why's it always naked mythological women standing about in the water, eh? What about some men?" then you should get thee hence to Sweden for the 14th July. Because every year they hold a competion to crown the Näck (or possibly the Näcken ... my Swedish grammer is not what it might be).
The Näck is a shapeshifting water spirit who makes beautiful music and lures young women and children to their doom. For some reason he's most active on Midsummer's Night, Christmas Eve ... and Thursdays, according to his Wikipedia entry.
The modern version is usually a violinist, although at least one winner has been a saxophonist. And if you can play beautiful music whilst standing in a freezing Swedish brook, butt-naked in front of an audience, then you're a brave and talented man. I think this one even sings too!
There's an eye-opening news report here ... in Swedish, I'm afraid. And some more photos here.