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Lerwick Up Helly Aa 2020

Description of event:

24 hour celebration of Shetland's Viking heritage

Tue 28th Jan - Wed 29th Jan 2020

Starts 00:00 hrs



There will be no postponement for weather!

Jarl Squad Timetable

Outlined below is the outline timetable for the Jarl Squad for Tuesday morning:

09:00 March to British Legion – starting location varies year on year.

09:40 Leave British Legion and march along Esplanade, along Commercial Street pausing at the Bill located at Market Cross. Finish at Bressay Ferry Terminal for photos; please note area is cordoned off for official photos.

10:30 Depart Bressay Ferry Terminal for civic reception.

Throughout the rest of the morning and early afternoon there are a series of visits to the Primary Schools, Hospitals and eventide homes with some lunch in between.

15:30 Visit Shetland Museum

19:15 Guizer Jarl Squad passes up the ranks of the Guizers

19:30 Procession commences

21:15 Visit first hall of evening

The timetable will be confirmed nearer the festival – watch this space!

Official Programme & Souvenir Programme

The official and souvenir programmes are available to buy in local shops such as:

  • Harrys Department Store
  • Shetland Times book shop
  • Conochies Newsagents
  • Ellesmere Stores

The Proclamation also known as The Bill

The Bill is located at the Market Cross from 06:00 on Tuesday morning until 17:00.

Galley Location

The Galley is part of the marching in the morning. Once it arrives at the Bressay Ferry Terminal it remains there until 18:00 when it is taken to the Hillhead in preparation for the procession.

The Up Helly Aa Procession Route

The Procession

The procession will light up at 19:30 on the Hillhead (below the Town Hall) and proceed along the route map (right).

Lists Of Squads

This information will be added to this website after the event. It is a secret until then!

“There will be no postponement for weather”. That’s a defiant boast by Shetland’s biggest fire festival, considering it’s held in mid-winter on the same latitude as southern Greenland. But it’s true: gales, sleet and snow have never yet stopped the Up Helly Aa guizers of Lerwick from burning their Viking galley – and then dancing the dawn away.

Up Helly Aa is a superb spectacle, a celebration of Shetland history, and a triumphant demonstration of islanders’ skills and spirit. This northern Mardi Gras, run entirely by volunteers, lasts just one day (and all the following night). But it takes several thousand people 364 days to organise. Much of the preparation is in strictest secrecy. The biggest secret of all is what the head of the festival, the ‘Guizer Jarl’, will wear and which character from the Norse Sagas is represented.

For further information, click on ‘Visit Event Website’ above.

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