This year’s Up Helly Aa celebrations culminated in the iconic burning of the Viking galley, drawing a huge crowd out to witness the incredible spectacle.
It is arguably the most famous part of the Shetland fire festival, when nearly 1,000 torches are thrown onto the 30ft galley setting it ablaze.
Months of hard work have went into creating the centrepiece of the celebrations but many involved say it is their favourite part of the night.
To see it, to hear it, to smell it, go up in flames is an one-of-a-kind experience for eager visitors who come from across the world.
However, before the galley can be torched, the Jarl squad along with 45 other squads march around the streets of Lerwick from the Town Hall down to the nearby playpark.
Thousands of people turned out to see the Guizer Jarl, Richard Moar, lead his squad and the procession along the route.
Before the procession began, the street lights were turned off, plunging the route into darkness.
Then the torches were lit illuminating the chilly Shetland night sky and the atmosphere crackled with anticipation.
Hundreds of guizers (squad members) marched with their torches aloft through the streets before bringing the galley into the playpark.
Some were decked out in their traditional Viking costumes while others went a different route. You could see cows, penguins, and men dressed in women’s clothing, which add to the lightheartedness of the event.
There the galley was surrounded by the more than 1,000 guizers who then threw their torches onto the boat.
The loud roar and crackle along with the smells of the burning wood was very incredibly atmospheric.
‘The burning is its crowning glory’
The heat from the flames helped warm up the crowds, some having waited for hours out in the cold streets of Shetland for the burning to begin.
Kate Humble of BBC’s Springwatch was there on to see Up Helly Aa in Lerwick for the first time after being entranced by the one on Unst years ago.
She said: “You see stuff on social media and people tell you about it but actually to witness it yourself, you just can’t believe it.
“For one, the thing that has been most wonderful is that it encapsulates everything I love about Shetland.
“This real strong sense of community, of tradition, of people coming together and doing something that is just a glorious spectacle.
“You can feel everybody is whipped up into the excitement of the night.”
She praised the amount of work and time that had gone into the costumes more by the guizers and the 30ft galley ship.
She said: “When you see it being towed pulled through the streets in all its glory, you think ‘How can anyone bear to burn it?’ but we have heard that the people who build it, the burning is its crowning glory. It literally goes up in a blaze of glory.”
Here are some pictures from Lerwick Up Helly Aa 2024.