Up Helly Aa: a Scottish festival where people dress up as Vikings and set fire to a longship Up Helly Aa: a Scottish festival where people dress up as Vikings and set fire to a longship

Up helly aa meaning dating, festival history

The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.

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What could the festival's strange name, "Up Helly Aa," possibly mean? These parties last until daybreak. In that same year, the BBC aired a radio feature on Up Helly Aa, and from that moment on the festivities evolved into something much greater.

Each squad of guizers is required to perform a skit or an act at every party that the squad attends. The coastal cliffs facing the North Sea, serene lochs and rugged landscape make the islands an excellent walking or cycling destination year round. At each hall, each squad performs its act, which may be a send-up of a popular TV show or film, a skit on local events, or singing or dancing.

Thus it was called Uphaliday, which historians suggest means something like "up holidays all. Origins[ edit ] The current Lerwick celebration grew out of the older yule tradition of tar barrelling which took place at Christmas and New Year as well as Up Helly Aa.

They dressed in costumes and marched through the streets with torches, singing songs and blowing horns. In the mid-nineteenth century the young men of Lerwick blew horns and dragged burning barrels of tar through the streets atop sledges on various dates surrounding Christmas.

Definition of 'Up-Helly-Aa'

Origins The current Lerwick celebration grew out of the older yule tradition of tar barrelling which took place at Christmas and New Year as well as Up Helly Aa. Viking Ship In recent decades, the members of the Viking squad have dedicated themselves to creating beautiful replicas of a small Viking ship.

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A relatively modern tradition, Up Helly Aa is not just any ordinary festival but a spectacle of its own. This celebration has changed significantly over the past years.

Up Helly Aa | Up Helly Aa

Each year a replica of a Viking longship is built for Up Helly Aa. In recent years, junior squads, composed solely of young people, have also marched in the procession.

Recent research has suggested several intellectually oriented young men who began to participate in the festival around first introduced the Viking theme. The guizers assemble in squads and parade through the streets of dating etiquette for women over 50, carrying torches and singing songs.

January 29, 2019

It is the principal of many squads, and the participants are called guizers. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.

In the chief guizer, known as Guizer Jarl, posted the first Up Helly Aa "bill," a lengthy document poking fun at local events, people, and institutions. Meaning[ edit ] According to John Jamieson 's Etymological Dictionary of the Scottish Language[7] up is used in the sense of something being at an end, and derives from the Old Norse word uppi which is still used in Faroese and Icelandicwhile helly refers to a holy day or festival.

After the procession, the squads visit local halls including schools, sports facilities and hotelswhere private parties are held. Torches are set alight for Up Helly Aa. The Jarl Squad is made up of the Guizer Jarl's supporters.

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It marks the end of the Yule season, or what would have been the Christmas festivities in Scotland prior to the Reformation of After nightfall the longship is dragged through the streets of the town in a torchlight procession. These days the festival is organized by a committee that works throughout the year to organize the event.

The first yule torch procession took place in This ship-burning custom caught on and has served as the highlight of the festival ever since.

Hutchinson and Company, The tradition first thrived at the main port of the Shetland Islands, in the town of Lerwick. In medieval Scandinavia, a Jarl was a noble ranking just below King. Terms of service Up Helly Aa: The themes are very varied, some historical, some topical or satirical.

People complained that this part of the procession was too dangerous and dirty, though, so the activity was abandoned by Squads of young men would drag barrels of burning tar through town on sledges, making mischief.

Any available large room is pressed into service as a hall, presided over by a hostess who issues invitations to attend, and every guizer squad visits every hall in turn to dance and drink with the guests.

In the s the town council banned the burning of tar barrels in response to complaints from housewives that the burning tar spilled onto the streets and stuck to the boots of passersby, who eventually tracked it into their homes. By the late nineteenth century, the people of Lerwick settled on January 24 as the date for this festival.

Up Helly Aa 2018

Lerwick Up Helly Aa gallery See also. The people of Lerwick enjoy this custom and take the jibes contained in the bill in a spirit of good humor. Each Guizer Jarl takes the name of a figure in Norse legend. This custom also became a hit and is a much-anticipated feature of the festival for the people of Lerwick.

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The day after is the "Hop Night" where further dances and celebrations are held. The procession culminates in the torches being thrown into a replica Viking longship or galley. You can expect to be engulfed in the droning of horns and beating drums of Viking music lead by the folk stories and melodies passed down through generations.

Up-Helly-Aa definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

On the last Tuesday of January each year a series of grand marches and processions take place, ultimately leading to a ceremonial burning of a 9 meter long Galley — a traditional Nordic long boat.

The procession climaxed with the burning of a replica of a Norse, or Viking, galley.

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They wear helmets, carry shields, and are required to grow beards for the occasion. At each hall, each squad performs its act, which may be a send-up of a popular TV show or film, a skit on local events, or singing or dancing.

Up Helly Aa definition | What does Up Helly Aa mean?

It involves dressing up in homemade costumes and parading through the streets. At each hall, each squad performs its act, which may be a send-up of a popular TV show or film, a skit on local events, or singing or dancing. The Scottish National Dictionary defines helly, probably derived from the Old Norse helgr helgi in the dative and accusative casemeaning a holiday or festivalas "[a] series of festive days, esp.

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The first yule torch procession took place in In the late nineteenth century a torchlit procession replaced the burning tar barrels. There are also four golf courses around the islands and during the summer twilight tee times are even offered at midnight for a truly unique golfing experience.

Nearly 1, guizers take part each year, and around 5, people line the streets of Lerwick in order to view the spectacle. In the s the first ship-which some say was actually an old rowboat-was burned at the climax of the procession.

Up Helly Aa

In return, householders would usually give them something to eat or drink. This word signifies a series of festive days, but particularly references Christmas.

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Once the longship has burned and the flames die down, guizers sing the traditional song "The Norseman's Home" before going on to a night of partying. Other squads adopt different themes, taking their inspiration from politicians, celebrities, and many other sources.

The first torch celebration on Up Helly Aa day took place in Merrymaking continues until the early hours of the morning. This one was Flokki of the Ravens. In the twentieth century, as the festival grew more organized, rules sprang up to govern the guizing practices.