Between January and March every year, communities across Shetland come together for a series of spectacular and unique fiery celebrations.
The Up Helly Aa fire festivals are amongst the biggest annual celebrations in Shetland. Inspired by Shetland’s Viking past, communities across the islands come together for a night of guizing (dressing up), burning torches through the streets and dancing the night away to traditional Shetland music.
While very much a series of community-led festivals – 12 Up Helly Aas are held between January and March – people travel from all over the world to witness the spectacle. The biggest fire festival is Lerwick Up Helly Aa, which takes place on the last Tuesday in January each year.