Shetland’s Up Helly Aa Viking Festival – a night on fire

Shetland's Up Helly Aa Festival
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Shetland’s Up Helly Aa Viking Festival was celebrated on the last day of January, 2017.  It is the most popular event in Scotland. It is regarded as an educational event and schools were on list where the Vikings stopped and chatted to children.  They loved the occasion and were happy to see the guys in their fantastic costumes.  Kids enjoyed being able to learn about such a festival dating back in history.

Hundreds of torch bearers paraded through the streets of Lerwick, before burning a replica Viking galley.

This year’s Guizer Jarl – festival leader – is joiner Lyall Gair, who headed the parade. He said it was an honour to be the leader

It is the biggest procession of its kind in Europe and celebrates the islands’ Viking heritage.

The festival is a descendant of the ancient feast of Yule – which the Vikings held to celebrate the rebirth of the sun.

Crowds followed the march which began at daylight, marching through the town.  Later the visitors joined the Vikings for the big burn.  A replica Viking boat was tied up and as the highlight of the night was set alight to the vessel.

They enjoyed seeing the traditional festival taking place.  It was quite a spectacle.  Fire was burning from torches as local residents dressed as vikings gathered and made magnificent scenes for the audience.

Video BBC Scotland

 

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