Friday, 13 January 2012

Scalloway Fire Festival

Today has been a wonderful still, cold and clear day. I had fingers crossed all day that the weather would hold for the fire festival or Up Helly Aa tonight in Scalloway and unbelievably it did; you couldn't have asked for a better night.

The festival this year fell on Friday 13th and un-coincidentally the galley was named Svart Fredag or Black friday with Guiser Jarl, Simon Mullay, representing Jarl Sigurd The Stout, Jarl of Orkney and Shetland (980-1014). Take a look at Kozetland's entry on Shetlopedia for more details of this Jarl of old.

Before the fire festival began Beren and I took a wander down to the galley which was 'moored' up next to The Scalloway Meat Company and had a chance for a few pictures before the poor boat was processed through the village cast adrift in a shower of fiery torches down at the boating club marina.

Here's Beren being a Viking...

Black Friday looking out to the site of her final demise...

Head details...

And sadly that is all I have of the spectacle that was a wonderful night of music, song and fire! But see Kozetland1 for great photos

A series of school boy errors led to my camera battery running out and the few photos I did have of the procession being useless. I'm not a happy bunny really, but it did mean that I got to fully enjoy the night rather than thinking about getting photos and video of it. Thankfully there are several Up Hell Aas over the next couple of months so I have a chance to make amends for tonight and learn a few more lessons about photographically recording the events.

Anyway Beren loved it and loved seeing his best friend's Dad in his finest Viking regalia and we had a lovely time at a friend's house in the village at a little party afterwards. The squads and die hard Up Helly Aa revellers will be up partying hard long through the night though while we are cosy in bed.

Now, what else can we get up to on what is forecast to be a lovely weekend? Battery is on charge...


  1. Thats a disaster Kev - I was hoping for some pics to add to the Shetlopedia page - spare battery! It was a fantastic evening though.

  2. Tell me about it. I'm having charging problems, it's a new battery and a spare is another £40+. Hopefully get it right for the Lerwick!