Burravoe Primary School

Lerwick Up Helly Aa


The last Tuesday in January is always Up Helly Aa in Lerwick. Lerwick’s is the largest fire festival although other Shetland communities have them too.

This is a link to a you tube clip of the morning procession of the Jarls Squad


Jennifer took these photos of Up Helly Aa. Her nephew was in the Junior Jarl Squad. The first photos are of the Junior Squad with their galley and then there are photos of the adult procession and galley burning. 

[kml_flashembed movie="http://pf.kizoa.com/sflite.swf?did=2260270&k=9415551" width="480" height="360" allowfullscreen="true" /]

BBC Newsround (the news programme for children) also reported on Up Helly Aa


  1. I have very fond memories of Up Helly Aa from growing up in Shetland – I especially remember the little galley coming round the primary school and the day off school after it!

  2. This sounds very fun do you go to lots I would like to go.

  3. Up Helly Aa is a tradition that originated in the 1880s. The Vikings and guizers carry torches in the procession through the streets. Then they walk about singing the viking song in a circle around the galley finishing by throwing their torches in the galley. They do this to mark the end of the christmas and new year celebration.
    Burravoe Primary School

  4. Why do you celibrate helly Aa? It sounds great, we have not done it before in Blackpool. We have illumination.They are lots of light and diffrent coloured like green and blue and red.

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