Hundreds of Shetlanders set boat on fire to mark Viking festival

Hundreds of people carrying flaming torches swarmed round a Viking boat in Shetland to celebrate the Up Helly Aa festival on Tuesday, 30 January.

More than 1,000 torches were lit as two processions, one in the morning and a second in the evening, took place in Lerwick.

Footage showed hundreds of people surrounding a galley with lit torches.

The Viking festival began in the 1880s, celebrating the island’s Norse heritage.

Communities come together to celebrate Shetland’s history, taking part in a night of “guizing” (dressing up), a fire-lit procession, and playing traditional music.

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