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19 April 2024

Viking–themed fire festival

Up Helly Aa, Europe’s largest fire festival takes place in Lerwick, Shetland on the last Tuesday of every January. Each year a new chief (called a Jarl) is chosen to lead the torch-lit parade of guizers which ends with the burning of the galley. The event, which pays homage to the island’s Viking heritage, attracts tourists from around the world. This year the crowds brave force-eight gale winds and rain to watch the dramatic spectacle on Britain’s most northerly islands.