What iconic item is lit ablaze at the culmination of the Up Helly Aa festival in Scotland’s Shetland Islands?
– A bonfire of kilts
– A traditional Viking longship
– Wooden replica of a Scottish castle
– A stack of Scottish bagpipes
On the final Tuesday in January every year, Scotland’s Shetland Islands main port, Lerwick, is home to the Up Helly Aa fire festival. This largest of Europe’s fire festivals celebrates the region’s Viking heritage with traditional dance and music and a procession by torch-light that one must witness to appreciate fully. The culmination of the festival sees over 1,000 costumed “guizers” throw their burning torches into a “galley,” the traditional Viking longship. Source: TravelAway.me
A traditional Viking longship
A big Viking longship would be about 30 metres long and could carry 60 men. The men slept and ate on deck. When rowing, sailors sat on chests with their belongings in. They were made from planks of oak wood joined together.