News to me, but apparently Up Helly Aa is the largest fire festival in Europe. It takes place in Lerwick, Shetland, on the last Tuesday in January every year.
There are hundreds of people in Viking attire parading through the streets, which ends up with a Viking longboat being set alight (the call is it a Galley). This is followed with dances and performances throughout Lerwick. And general revelry one may assume!
This community event looks like a belta. And when one finishes it time to start preparing for the next! So indeed you have missed 2012s, but I am sure if you asked nicely they will get you involved for next years?
The whole thing looks like a massive labour of love. Forty-five ‘Jarl Squads’ each decides on the character that they wish to portray. They make suits, create and practice a performance for the big day. The town even declares the next day a public holiday to help them to recover!
They haven’t approached us for our Viking long boat urn yet – but you never know!
This is the official website http://www.uphellyaa.org/
And this is our version! Viking Long Boat Urn
Picture from here