Up-Helly-Aa (pronounced the way it looks) is a festival held every year at Lerwick in the Shetland Islands, the extreme northern outlying islands of Scotland. Every year, on the last Thursday in January a replica Viking longship is paraded by torchlight through the streets of the town before ultimately being burned, whereupon everyone then goes out and gets rip-roaringly drunk. Although it would seem to be the continuation of some ancient tradition, there is little reference to Up-Helly-Aa before the 19th Century so it is probably a fairly modern festival. Certainly the longship was not a part of the celebrations until 1888.

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