Up Helly Aa 2019: Thousands attend fire festival

Shetland’s biggest fire festival, Up Helly Aa, took place yesterday in the Shetland capital Lerwick, culminating with the burning of huge Viking Galley.

Reported by The Press & Journal, Up Helly Aa 2019 was a great success despite the weather with thousands of people in attendance.

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A tradition hundreds of years old, the torch procession, followed by final burning of a specially built galley with snowfall only adding to the spectacle.

up helly aa 2019

Celebrating the island’s Viking heritage, the traditional squad of Vikings led the procession with the Viking leader, Guizer Jarl John Nicholson, standing in his galley as it was paraded through the streets of Lerwick down to the waterfront.

The Vikings were followed by hundreds of Guizers who all follow the procession down to Lerwick Harbour.

Mr Nicholson described the sight of watching the vessel, which had taken months to build, burn to the ground as the culmination of an incredible day.

up helly aa 2019

He said: “We had a perfect night for it, it was absolutely brilliant. I was so proud to watch all the guizers come into the park, I just wanted to take it all in.

“When you join the committee you’re lucky to get to this stage to see the galley burning. I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

Huge crowds gathered with the island also welcoming hundreds of visitors for the celebration.

Further Information

Check out a video of Up Helly Aa 2019 on The Press & Journal site here.

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References: www.pressandjournal.co.uk

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