Shetland's second oldest fire festival takes place on the island of Unst. Unfortunately, the 2024 Uyeasound Up Helly Aa is postponed until February 2025, due to a family bereavement. Date TBC

14 Feb 2025
shareSocial Media

With a tradition going back to 1911, Uyeasound Up Helly Aa is one of two Up Helly Aas on the island of Unst. 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.

The Jarl leads his squad (which can include women) and a procession of around 170 torch bearers 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.