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Wed 29 Jan 2014 12:19 PM

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Ancient fire festival held in UK

A traditional Norse festival of fire, known as Up Helly Aa, has been held in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The spectacular event takes place on the last Tuesday in January every year, as The Jarl Squad march through the streets of Lerwick in full costume, hauling a Viking longboat with them to the edge of town. When they reach their destination, a group of 1,000 people throw flaming torches into the galley, enjoying a big party once it has burned.

Ancient fire festival held in UK
The Jarl Squad march through the streets of Lerwick on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 people parade and throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
The Jarl Squad march around a Viking Longship before torching it on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 paraders will throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
The Jarl Squad march through the streets of Lerwick on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 people parade and throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
The Jarl Squad march through the streets of Lerwick on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 people parade and throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
The torches of the Jarl Squad are lit as they march through the streets of Lerwick on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 people parade and throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
The Jarl Squad march around a Viking Longship before torching it on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 paraders will throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
The Guizer Jarl, Ivor Cluness and his Jarl Squad march through the streets of Lerwick on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 people parade and throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
The Guizer Jarl, Ivor Cluness and his Jarl Squad march through the streets of Lerwick on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 people parade and throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)
Ancient fire festival held in UK
Locals dressed as Vikings pose in the streets of Lerwick on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 people parade and throw their flaming torches into the galley. (Getty Images)