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Europe’s Largest Fire Festival

By Linda Tancs

Since the 1880s the folks in Lerwick, Shetland have celebrated Up Helly Aa, Europe’s largest fire festival.  Taking place on the last Tuesday in January each year, the event involves a series of marches and visitations, culminating in a torch-lit procession, the burning of a galley and dancing in various halls throughout Lerwick.  At least 11 halls will host revelers until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, a public holiday.  Thank goodness.

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