In the 9th century on the Shetland Islands, located off the coast of Scotland, landed the Vikings, who opened a new page in the history of the islands. This event is dedicated to the famous and traditional Scottish holiday Aphellio (Up-Helly-Aa), held in the main town of Lerwick Shetland (Lerwick).
Aphellio is celebrated every year on the last Tuesday of January and is the biggest festival of fire Europe and one of the most unique festivals in the world.
Residents Lerwick make a 30-foot model of a Viking ship (with a dragon on the nose), the Vikings dress, light the torches, march in the streets, blaring horns in traditional military, and through the city are the ship to sea. More than 900 beautifully dressed participants follow a retinue of 40 Vikings and their giant ship to the place where the fire is lit.
evening torchlight procession through the ancient ritual burial of the dead soldiers burned the wooden Viking boat on the coast — 900 torches thrown to the "ancient" ship. The spectacle is impressive! It's a custom Vikings adopted for funerals of soldiers and leaders.
Scottish land for a long time raided by the Vikings, so many of the traditional territory of the festival bear the imprint of Scandinavian culture. Today, the Scots are proud of this history and relationship with the famous Scandinavian pirates.
The official date of the holiday flare was detected only in the early 19th century — the day noble men returned from the Napoleonic wars.