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Up Helly Aa Fire Festival

The Up Helly Aa Fire Festival is a fire show that outshines all others.

When: The last Tuesday in January, annually.

Where: Lerwick, Shetland

Where to Stay: Lerwick hotels

Up Helly Aa Fire Festival In ScotlandThe Up Helly Aa Fire Festival is one for the pyromaniacs! Complete with a torch-lit procession, costumes, and the ceremonious burning of the replica Viking ship.

Originating in the 1880s, Up Helly Aa Fire Festival begins in the early morning at 8:30 AM when Guizer Jarl and his squad march through the town, stopping at the Market Cross. There are then photos taken at the Bressay Ferry Terminal around 10 AM, followed by a Town Hall civic reception and lunch (attendance to lunch is invitation only).

The fun begins at night at 7:15 PM starts the senior procession. A maroon signals the lighting of over 1,000 senior torches. The town is in darkness as this world famous torchlit procession of over 1,000 guizers march along the route is lined with spectators as the guizers pass by.

The procession then will end up at the King George V playing field burning site where the Viking ship is burned (public not allowed in to the burning site).

Here’s the official site for the Up Helly Aa Fire Festival.

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