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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 23:00 GMT
In pictures: Up Helly Aa

Up Helly Aa

Up Helly Aa, Britain's biggest fire festival and torchlight procession, is held in Lerwick, Shetland, to celebrate the area's Norse heritage.

Jarl Squad

Earlier, the start of the Viking fire festival was well received.

Jarl Squad

The Jarl Squad marches through the streets of Lerwick for Up Helly Aa.

Jarl Squad

This Viking long ship made a very impressive sight for spectators.

Jarl Squad

All ages were clearly seen to be in full voice at the start of Up Helly Aa.

Alistair Carmichael

Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael was hardly recognisable at the event.

Up Helly Aa

After dark the Jarl Squad paraded through the town's streets to the burning site.

Up Helly Aa

The festival sees around 900 costumed 'guizers' taking part.

Up Helly Aa

A Viking longship is dragged through the town, then at a designated point the torches are thrown into the ship and onlookers watch as it burns.

Tavish Scott

Transport Minister and Shetland MSP Tavish Scott was all smiles at Up Helly Aa




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A torchlit procession concludes the festival





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