Delting Up Helly Aa began life as a school festival in 1970, when Brae High School began holding an annual event. This ran until 1982, and the community, deciding they didn’t want to see the festival come to an end entirely, began their own senior version.
At this point the festival was known as Brae Up Helly Aa, which it remained until 2003, when it was changed to Delting Up Helly Aa. This better reflected the inclusiveness of the festival which also draws on the communities of Mossbank, Muckle Roe, Vidlin, and Voe.
The festival includes all members of the community from its youngest to oldest as part of its celebrations, with women regularly making up many of the squads.