Up Helly AA
A traditional fire festival to mark the end of the Yule season in the beautiful island of Shetland. For 24 hours, on the last Tuesday of January, the peaceful town of Lerwick becomes a Viking’s paradise. Up Helly AA is a lot more than a sub-arctic bonfire and booze-up with a bizarre sounding name. It's a superb spectacle, a celebration of Shetland history, and a triumphant demonstration of the islanders' skills and spirit. It all culminates with a torch-lit procession and the burning of a huge Viking galley boat. This is a perfect event if you want to avoid the tourists (and prices) at Hogmany and head to Scotland at the end of January when you can also attend another fantastic Scottish annual event - Burns night - at the same time.