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    Jan 29, 2014

    Shetland's "Up Helly Aa" Fire Festival Looks Like The Best Festival On Earth

    A yearly tradition in the Shetland Islands, where people dress up as Vikings and set alight to a longship, to celebrate the end of the Christmas season.

    What do you do if you live in the Shetland Islands on the last Tuesday of January? Well you dress up like this...

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    Lots of your friends dress up up like this. You're all VIKINGS.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    PROUD VIKING WARRIORS.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    It's also cold in the Shetlands, like really really cold, so you're probably happy to be wearing so many layers.

    Then you find a torch and set it alight.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    How many torches are there? More than a THOUSAND.

    You hold it above your head like the proud Viking you are.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    Look at you, with a proud Viking beard and everything.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    Then after marching throughout the town you find a Viking longship.

    David Cheskin/PA Wire

    The town is in darkness as all of the streetlights are turned off, so the torches can really glow.

    You march around it with all of your Viking mates.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    And then after you've marched around it for a bit (and after a bit of a singalong), you throw your torches into the ship AND SET THE WHOLE SHIP ON FIRE.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    THE ACTUAL WHOLE THING ON FIRE.

    Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

    BURN BABY BURN.

    David Cheskin/PA Wire

    What then follows? Hours of dances and performances in nearby halls, followed by a public holiday the next day so everyone can recover. This is the best holiday ever.

    BEST. HOLIDAY. EVER.

    David Cheskin/PA Wire

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