This time of year can often be a dull time for kids, after all the excitement and anticipation of Christmas. But not in Shetland.
From January to March, it is fire festival season. For some, that might not mean much – but for the island's Up Helly Aa obsessed children, it means one thing: Vikings!
Shetland's fire festivals center around a Jarl squad, dressed in Viking costume, who march around, singing the Up Helly Aa song, carry burning torches, and burn a full size galley ship at night. You can see why it would appeal to children! And while the day itself means a chance to see 'real' Vikings, there are plenty of other activities for children to get involved in.
Most schools and nurseries will have fire festival themed activities, and make Viking headdresses, shields and axes in the weeks running up to the event. (With some kids, Viking fever never really dissipates, and dressing up with a beard, horned helmet and axe and singing the Up Helly Aa song while carrying out everyday tasks becomes the norm. And why not?!)