Friday 1 March 2024
 4.8°C   SW Moderate Breeze
Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Fire Festival 2013 / An Up Helly Aa with a difference

Guizer Jarl Murray Peterson in front of burning galley - Photos: Olivia Abbott

A bitter cold wind couldn’t chill the hearts of the participants or observers at Walls Up Helly Aa on Saturday night.

The villagers got right into the spirit of things, and none more so than young Guizer Jarl Murray Peterson, who showed some real Viking attitude as he led his squad and guests.

Walls is host to an Up Helly Aa with a difference, with the squads alternating each year between the Scouts and the Brownies, and no member more than about 14 years old, though the marshals in charge of the flaming torches were, reassuringly, all adults.

Murray chose the Viking name Yarrum Nosretep and also chose two princesses to be part of his squad.

They sang the Up Helly Aa song with gusto, (and they knew all the lyrics – ‘They’re making a better fist of it than the Lerwick lot!’ one observer commented) then set off along the route from the village hall to the burning site, led by a small Jack Russell who was also happily getting into the spirit of things.

As the procession reached the burning site, fireworks lit up the sky, and the marshals threw their torches into the doomed galley Naidrocca.

A multitude ‘Three cheers’ rang out as Yarrum Nosretep led his squad in praise of all the helpers, costume creators, boat builders, axe makers et al, before they headed back to the hall for some well-deserved refreshments and a night of celebrations.

Hopefully there was a biscuit or two for the dog, too.

Olivia Abbott

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.



Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.