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Uyeasound Up Helly Aa

With a tradition going back to 1911, Uyeasound Up Helly Aa is the 2nd oldest in the isles. The festival has run annually ever since, excepting a pause for the First World War (1915-1923), a family bereavement (1931), a flu outbreak (1933) and for the Second World War (1940 - 1946).

The festival began after its first Jarl, Jamsie Sutherland, relocated from Lerwick to Uyeasound to take over the running of the Post Office. Having been involved in the Lerwick celebrations he was keen to see a similar event occur in Unst.

The Uyeasound Jarl can be from anywhere in Unst, and is free to change any aspect of the festival. For the past decade, Jarls have used the original 1911 shield, though they do not have to.

He leads his squad (which can include women), and a procession of around 170 torch bearers form other squads in the evening procession.

Each year, there are two galleys: a decorative galley, used for parading throughout the day, and a burning galley, which is set alight on the shore at the Shalder Taing, Uyeasound.

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