Tension, excitement, fever reached fire levels from sunrise, as silver helmets, shields, shiny axes and black feathers were expected inside the heart of our high school.
And here they came past 9 a.m.
Braving storm winds & lashing rain, our young Vikings entered the granite strong institution where their elders once tattooed old footsteps…
Their replica Viking long ship (known locally as da galley) would wait outside in the carpark.
On such great day, our brave Junior Up-Helly-Aa squad shone as bright as their shields & their helmets. No need to force the school’s main doors, they knew their welcome would be warm.
So they gathered & found shelter in between double doors, as crowds of junior pupils massed inside the great assembly hall.
The raven painted on their shield waited to jeer inside all hearts.
So they brandished their spirit & axes.
On the signal, they marched with pride towards the packed assembly hall, as pupils met them with applause, smiles & sheer awe. They paraded like true Norsemen, as their elders would do tonight.
In sheer Shetlandic tradition, they sang the great fire festival song to the pleasure of the crowd; were acknowledged by the whole school before investing corridors, classrooms in a very cheery manner.
Our junior squad did what their elders did. By the evening, they would parade with their torches in the heart of Old Lerwick & throw them in their boat in an effort to defy the wrath & fury of winter & celebrate the sun’s return…
And if you stood by their torches, you saw the mast engulfed in flames.
Just as their elders did just opposite the flower park.
Filed under 2014, 60N, boats, celebration, festival, fire, geopoetics, home, images, island, lerwick, north, shetland, spirit, wind, winter, writing