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Viking Ship Set Ablaze in Scottish Festival of Fire

Image: Up Helly Aa Fire Festival On Shetland
The Jarl Squad march around a Viking Longship before torching it on January 28, 2014, in the Shetland Islands, Scotland. The traditional festival of fire is known as 'Up Helly Aa'. The spectacular event takes place annually on the last Tuesday of January. The climax of the day comes with participants in full costume hauling a Viking longboat through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 paraders will throw their flaming torches into the galley. Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

Up Helly Aa is a traditional festival of fire in Shetland, an archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland. The spectacular annual event celebrates the influence of the Vikings who invaded the islands around 1,200 years ago.

This year's festivities came to a climax on Tuesday evening when around 1,000 'guizers' — men dressed in Viking armor — hauled a longboat through the streets of Lerwick and then hurled their flaming torches aboard the ship to set it ablaze.

Image: BRITAIN-TRADITION-VIKING
Participants dressed as Vikings light their burning brands as they take part in the annual Up Helly Aa festival in Lerwick, Shetland Islands, on Jan. 28, 2014. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP - Getty Images
Image: Up Helly Aa Fire Festival On Shetland
The Up Helly Aa 'Jarl Squad' marches through the streets of Lerwick. Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images
Image: BRITAIN-TRADITION-VIKING
Guizers young and old prepare for a long day of festivities with a hearty breakfast. ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP - Getty Images