Vikings in Shetland

Up Helly Aa celebrates the influence of the Scandinavian Vikings in the Shetland Islands and culminates with up to 1,000 ‘guizers’ (men in costume) throwing flaming torches into a longboat.


Vikings take to the streets of Lerwick. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)


Roaring success: Up Helly Aa has been going since 1881. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)


Vi-kids: young particpants in the Lerwick festival. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)


If you thought some of the hats at Glastonbury looked strange… (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)


…but you probably wouldn’t say anything sarcastic about their hats to these guys. (Danny Lawson/PA)


The Viking Jarl Squad surround their leader or ‘Guizer Jarl’ on a Viking ship. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)


The viking galley is surrounded by members of the Jarl Squad. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)


It’s one way to keep warm on a winter’s evening… (Danny Lawson/PA)


Ring of fire at the Up Helly Aa festival. (Danny Lawson/PA)


The galley is set on fire towards the end of the festival. (Danny Lawson/PA)


The axe falls as the ship is engulfed in flames. (Danny Lawson/PA)

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