Uyeasound Up Helly Aa is the first of two Up Helly Aa’s to be held on Unst. It takes place each year over the second weekend of February. Visiting Unst for an Up Helly Aa will leave you with experiences and memories which will never be forgotten.


What is Up Helly Aa? Up Helly Aa is a celebration of Shetland’s norse heritage and a superb demonstration of spirit and dedication. A ‘ Guizer Jarl’ is selected for each year – the main spectacle of Up Helly Aa. It is a true honour to be selected as a Jarl, and is often a night none forget. Him and his squad work year round to organise Up Helly Aa through the creation of their Viking suits of armor, design of galley and organisation of procession and night time events which is showcased on the day. Designs are kept secret, and only revealed on the day!

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Experiencing Uyeasound Up Helly Aa

Through the day: At 11am, head to the Baltasound Junior High School to watch the Jarl Squad arrive by galley. This is the first time the jarl squad’s suit design and galley is revealed to the community, so each year there is a gathering of both locals, visitors and school children. Throughout the day, the Jarl Squad stop off at particular places on Unst.

Evening: Light up is at 8am at the Uyeasound Galley Shed where the guizer jarl, his squad and other squads dressed in disguising outfits light their torches and perform the march. A large procession takes place, don’t miss it! The procession culminates with the burning of the galley and a large bonfire before guizers and spectators make their way to the Uyeasound Hall where a night of Shetland dancing and celebration takes place until the early hours of the morning.