Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Up Helly Aa lighting up Shetland

Up Helly Aa
The Jarl Squad dressed in Viking costume taking part in the Up Helly Aa festival

Europe's biggest annual fire festival - the spectacular Up Helly Aa - has culminated with the dramatic burning of a replica Viking galley.

Up Helly Aa celebrates Shetland's Viking heritage with a torch-lit procession and the galley burning.

Visitors from across the world travel to see the event, which features a band of latter-day Viking warriors known as the Jarl Squad.

The Lerwick rain did not dampen the enthusiasm of participants and viewers.

Englishman Stephen Lamming reflects on his role in the Shetland Up Helly Aa festival.

Guizer Jarl Rae Simpson - known for the day as Sigurd 'Snake Eye' Ragnarsson - led his 60-strong squad through the streets of Lerwick.

The 37-year-old firefighter at Sumburgh Airport is the third member of his family to take on the symbolic role of lead Viking, which he said made the role all the more special for him.

The fire festival season was launched at Scalloway earlier this month.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
In pictures: Up Helly Aa
27 Jan 10 |  Scotland
Fire festivals season under way
08 Jan 10 |  North East/N Isles
Thousands celebrate Up Helly Aa
28 Jan 09 |  North East/N Isles

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific