Lerwick Up Helly Aa 2019

Highlights from daytime coverage of Lerwick Up Helly Aa, the largest fire festival in Europe and part of 12 fire festivals held annually between January and March in Shetland.

Meet some of the visitors to Shetland that we spoke to and hear more from two members of the brass band and pipe band who accompany the Jarl Squads and march with them throughout the day and the evening processions.

Up Helly Aa is a superb spectacle, a celebration of Shetland history, and a triumphant demonstration of islanders' skills, spirit and community. It takes several thousand people 364 days to organise. Much of the preparation is in strictest secrecy.

The biggest secret of all is what the head of the festival, the 'Guizer Jarl', will wear and which character from the Norse Sagas he'll represent in each of the 12 Shetland fire festivals held between January and March each year.

Lerwick Up Helly Aa is the largest of our fire festivals, with around 1,000 guizers taking part in the evening procession.