In Pictures: Vikings march in Lerwick as Up Helly Aa recreates Norse history

Thousands have gathered for the world-famous Up Helly Aa fire festival on Shetland.

The event takes place in Lerwick and sees people dressed as Vikings march through the streets of the town to recreate its ancient Viking past, in a tradition dating back to the 19th century.

The walk is led by the Guizer Jarl, or chief guizer, and culminates in a torch-lit procession and a replica longboat being set alight.

Up Helly Aa Viking festival
Guizer Jarl Liam Summers with members of the Jarl Squad in Lerwick (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Up Helly Aa Viking festival
The Jarl Squad and their galley at the pier (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Up Helly Aa Viking festival
The festival celebrates Shetland’s Norse heritage (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Up Helly Aa Viking festival
Guizer Jarl Liam Summers (standing) salutes members of the Jarl Squad (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Up Helly Aa Viking festival
A youngster joins in the celebrations (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Up Helly Aa Viking festival
The Jarl Squad march through the centre of Lerwick (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Up Helly Aa Viking festival
The festival originated in the 1880s (Andrew Milligan/PA)
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