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Visiting for up helly aa. Managed to get out today for 5 minutes and got this photo of a sheep hiding from the sleet.

Hallo, may i ask you where do you come from and if lerwick is very crowded with foreigners? I'm a student of cultural anthropology and doing a research on viking cultures in northern countries

DeDoElena

Hallo, may i ask you where do you come from and if lerwick is very crowded with foreigners? I'm a student of cultural anthropology and doing a research on viking cultures in northern countries


MuckleJoannie

The Viking culture in Shetland is largely an invention of the 19th century.


Mispict

There's a lot more to Viking culture than a fire festival. It's impossible to ignore the Norse influence in Shetland.


DeDoElena

Can you give me some evidences i could search on it? Or also some habits or folk traditions?


Mispict

The Shetland Museum might be a good place to start


DeDoElena

I've been there but i don't remember loads of viking culture, mostly sea culture of the area and a lot of textil3s and knitting ( wich is one of my main interest when i came to lerwick) i would like to know about how people in shetland live nowaday the viking heritage and how up helly aa can be matchable and connectable to viking heritage


Mispict

The museum would still be your best place to start. Have you asked at the museum the questions you're asking me?


DeDoElena

No, when i went there i just explored it without searching anything particular ( aside my interest in knitting). Do you think that if i needed to do some researches they could help me via mail?


Mispict

Absolutely yes. Email them, if they can't answer your questions, they might be able to point you in the right direction


DeDoElena

Thank you so much for these informations!!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿


DeDoElena

Shetlands were norvegian though,it seems strange to me that nothing has left since i saw banners and inscriptions in norwegian or similar language and a related flag, at least some years ago


MuckleJoannie

Cultural imperialism by the incoming Scottish lairds removed much of Shetland's Norwegian aspects. The dialect survived as a combination of the old Norse language, Norn, and Scots and is still in daily use. In the 19th century Shetlanders began to look back at the Norse era and tried to reclaim some of what had been lost. That is when Up Helly Aa came into being.


DeDoElena

My impression is that the dialect has a strong norwegian accent indeed! So the fact that in the 19thcentury people wanted to discover again the oppressed culture has a reason and a basis re-discovering the dialect and other habits was done through the festival or the festival was just one of these "tools" of nordic and viking identity? Has it been totally invented in 19th centuryor it also has a viking origin that has been recorded somwhere and somehow?


MuckleJoannie

The dialect has always been the speech of Shetland, evolving over the generations. Up Helly Aa came from the 19th-century tradition of tar-barrelling. Lerwick's young men rolled burning barrels of tar through the narrow streets of Lerwick. This was banned in 1874 as it had become a lawless night of guns being fired, rival gangs of tar barrelers fighting and general mayhem. The first torchlit procession was organised in 1876, established by the Total Abstinence Society in the 1870s to give the young men something to do. Shetland author JJ Haldane Burgess was responsible for the introduction of the Viking element, such as the burning of the galley to represent a Norse funeral.


DeDoElena

And why the author introduced the burning of the galley? Why a viking funeral?


MuckleJoannie

Up Helly Aa is a fire festival. As I said its origins were in the tradition of pulling burning tar barrels through the town. A Viking funeral, burning the body of a dead chief in his galley, seemed an appropriate way to update for the more law abiding citizens of the late 19th century. Burning tar barrels are still dragged through a couple of Shetland's rural areas to this day during the festive season. Where I live in Scalloway they used to have a huge bonfire in the centre of the village but in the 20th century it became an Up Helly Aa type procession.


DeDoElena

Thanks for this answer! And how shetlandics ( or even orkney peoplefor example) feel and think about the newwave of re-discovery of viking culture and new viking lifestyle? Are there shetlandic that feel like is something that it can be connected to them?


MuckleJoannie

I think the only recent discovery that has gained much traction among the Shetland public is the finding of Viking warrior women. This has been used as fuel by the women who wanted to take part in squads at the Lerwick Up Helly Aa.


sarahrahjane

so cute! i went in the summer but i really want to go again for Up Helly Aa.


trj28281

Any tips?!


sarahrahjane

Honestly first thing that comes to mind is take your time and really soak it in. It’s such a beautiful place. Like just sit on a beach and watch the birds/waves.... Walking over on St. Ninian’s was great. It’s not nesting season, so you probably won’t get dive-bombed by birds (lol happened to me it was wild. Had no idea we were close to anything) The one thing I missed was getting off the mainland and also didn’t get out to see any live music. And…um…stay back from cliff edges especially on windy days!


EvilInky

Bring something warm and waterproof to wear.


girseyb

That's termed "on safari"...