As I came into Lerwick on Tuesday morning I thought the beautiful red sunrise was very apt for Up Helly Aa day.
This year Jarl John Hunter (aka Johan Sanderrevet of Valsgärde) had the freedom of Lerwick as he took his 65 strong squad around town after years of planning and preparation. I learned a bit more about Jarl John Hunter’s viking name on the Shetland News website:
Johan Sanderrevet was a restless Swede in the 9th century who sailed west on board his galley Jägere only to be hit by a storm of such severity that all but three of his fleet of longships were driven off the cliffs of Fugaey.
The viking believed he was saved by his magical armlet woven gold called Svíagris; but this armlet was lost as he wintered on the isle of Oxna west of Scalloway.
More than a thousand years later a gold bracelet less than three inches in diameter was found by a young James Fullerton on that same island, a bracelet which can now be seen in Edinburgh’s National Museum of Scotland.
Today copies of that bracelet adorned the chest of every member of John Hunter’s squad.
I met up with the Jarl Squad at the Toll Clock Shopping Centre. The Lerwick Legion was the next port of call which was followed by the morning procession march along the Esplanade, then Commercial Street pausing at the Bill located at Market Cross and finishing at the Bressay Ferry Terminal for photographs. I then went along to the Guizer Jarl’s next appointment at the Shetland Museum and Archives where a large crowd had gathered.
Please feel free to leave your comments below. Whether it’s a comment on the photographs on show, or your highlight of the event, it would be great to hear from you.
Viewing suggestion: To view the images below I suggest you click on the first photograph which will open up a separate window. Click on the right/left arrows at the side of each image to progress.
All the images below are available to buy in my Up Helly Aa 2011 gallery page which can be accessed here. You’ll notice the individual photographs taken by Cecil Hughson have also been uploaded.
Photographs from the evening procession will be uploaded soon.
BBC Report by Mike Grundon – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12287230
BBC Picture Gallery – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-12279829
Shetland News Review – http://shetland-news.co.uk/2011/January/news/Burns%20night%20Shetland%20style.htm
Shetland Times Review – http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/
Official Up Helly Aa website – http://www.uphellyaa.org/