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Vikings give it some Helly.

HUNDREDS of "Vikings" stormed the streets of Lerwick in Shetland yesterday to celebrate their Norse heritage.

Up Helly Aa is Europe's biggest fire festival and takes place on the last Tuesday of January. Around 900 costumed "guizers" with axes and shields march through the town to recreate its ancient past.

The procession is led by the Jarl Squad, who arrive in a Viking longboat. Later, a torchlight procession ends with the galley being ceremonially burned before the guizers visit halls in the town to continue their celebrations.

Many of the parties continue until around 8am - Wednesday is a public holiday on the island to allow the squads to recover.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 1, 2012
Words:109
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