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March 7, 2014 By Andy Ross

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Cullivoe Up Helly Aa

This time of year when the weather is changeable and the light is returning to Northern climes, we celebrate the brightening of the days with Up Helly Aa, the annual fire festival and general community merriment.

Last weekend was the local version complete with squads dressed as Vikings, burning torches and a wooden galley which is set afloat and torched to spectacular effect in the water. Every year the weather has its part to play and this time we had howling wind and rain, perfect for seeing the galley burning on the sea. Following the burning, everyone makes their way to the Hall or school where each squad entertains the top table with skits, dancing, singing and acting. Even the children join in with a squad of their own and, from what I hear, this year was a great year for them.

Up Helly Aa is a special celebration. It is a chance to party, and to get things out into the open that have happened through the year, and for the communities to come together to celebrate another winter's end. For more pictures have a look at the Cullivoe Up Helly Aa website.