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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 11:48 GMT
In pictures: Up Helly Aa

Viking procession

Up Helly Aa - Britain's biggest fire festival and torchlight procession - is held in Lerwick, Shetland, on the last Tuesday in January to celebrate its Norse heritage

Vikings on replica boat

Celebrations start early as the Jarl Squad, dressed in Viking costume, roam the streets and crowd on to the galley of an ornate 30ft wooden longship

Vikings as the sunsets

As the sun begins to set, the Viking procession continues through Lerwick

Street procession by torch light

Torches are lit as darkness falls, and about 900 costumed "guisers" line the streets

Viking with burning torch

Emotions run high as the Vikings march through the town

Boat with burning torches

The Viking longship is pulled through Lerwick, before flaming torches are thrown on to the galley and it is burned

Fire eating Viking

A member of the Jarl Viking Squad lights a flare as the festivities continue late into the night

Viking with burning background

A young Viking holds his axe aloft and watches the longship burn

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