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Up-Helly-Aa

Details

Location:

United Kingdom - Lerwick

Date:

From: 2015.01.25 To: 2015.01.25

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Description

The abiding influence of the Vikings, who arrived in Shetland just over 1000 years ago, is celebrated on the last Tuesday of January with the largest fire festival in Europe - "Up Helly Aa". After a torch-light procession of up to a thousand "guizers" through the streets of Lerwick a full-size replica Viking long ship is ceremonially burned. The "guizers" and onlookers then return to local halls for a night of revelry, dancing and partying. Summer visitors can get a flavour of this mid-winter extravaganza at the Up Helly Aa exhibition in Lerwick where the regalia, props, costumes and a replica long ship are on display. The first celebration took place on New Years Eve in 1878, when instead of burning the usual tar-barrel the citizens of Lerwick set fire to a traditional Shetland boat known as a yoal. Each year the fun grows bigger with the flames.

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