11 Rules For Properly Burning A Viking Ship

Over a thousand people dressed as Vikings set a longboat on fire at the Shetland Islands’ Up Helly Aa festival. DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF, FOR REAL.

1. Assemble your troops.

AFP / Getty Images

All photos from this week’s Up Helly Aa festival in Lerwick, Shetland Islands. The festival, according to Getty, “celebrates the influence of the Scandinavian Vikings in the Shetland Islands and culminates with up to 1,000 ‘guizers’ (men in costume) throwing flaming torches into their Viking longboat and setting it alight later in the evening.”

2. No matter how young.

AFP / Getty Images

3. Seriously, age is no object.

AFP / Getty Images

4. Dress in the proper gear.

AFP / Getty Images

Putting the “swag” in “skaal.”

5. Get your hair did.

AFP / Getty Images

A Viking without braids is no Viking at all.

6. It’s OK to swap hats with the police officers on duty.

DAVID MOIR / Reuters

Just make sure you get yours back.

7. Brush up on street-style trends with the latest issue of NORSEMAG.

AFP / Getty Images

That’s not real, I made it up — but if only.

8. Pick the right ship.

AFP / Getty Images

Longboats are traditional.

9. Prepare your torches.

ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty Images
ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty Images

10. Form a circle.

ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty Images

11. And throw!

ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty Images
ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty Images
DAVID MOIR / Reuters
ANDY BUCHANAN / Getty Images

We cannot reiterate strongly enough that you should not try this at home. Also, you probably don’t have chain mail or a longboat, so it’s moot.

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