Up Helly Aa viking fire festival lights up Lerwick
The Vikings who ruled the Shetland islands 1,000 years ago are being remembered at Europe's biggest fire festival.
The Up Helly Aa celebrations got under way with a morning parade through the snow in Lerwick.
A torchlight evening parade is culminating with the dramatic burning of a replica Viking long ship.
Visitors from across the world gathered for the event, which is held on the last Tuesday in January.
The 2019 Chief Viking John Nicolson is the fourth member of his family to take up the role.
The Guizer Jarl, or chief guizer, gets the honour of choosing the colour of the ship and Mr Nicolson opted for distinctive green and white hoops.
The chief Guizer's brother David Nicolson, himself a former Guizer Jarl, said: "It's his galley and those are the colours he's gone with.
"Safe to say he's a Celtic supporter through and through."
He joked: "I'm a Rangers supporter, so I'll take great delight in seeing it burn!"
Shetland and neighbouring Orkney were ruled by the Norse for about 500 years until they became part of Scotland in 1468.
Up Helly Aa is a descendent of the ancient festival of Yule which the Vikings held to celebrate the rebirth of the sun after a long winter.
BBC Scotland's Marc Ellison captured the atmosphere of last year's celebrations in a 360 video.
Meanwhile, there have been calls for the festival to allow women to take part in the procession and the issue has divided opinion in the islands.
In August a group of four women claimed they had been blocked from registering a mixed gender squad called #MeToo.
It was the first time a group of women has attempted to register for the traditionally male-dominated main procession in Lerwick.
The Jarl squad of warriors set off from Islesburgh Community Centre at 08:20 and paraded through the town before assembling for a civic reception.
The afternoon schedule featured visits to several schools, hospital and homes, as well as Shetland Museum.
Squads then gathered on the Hillhead in the evening before more than 1,000 torchbearers marched to the King George V playing field.
A firework was set off to give the signal to light up the galley.
The spectacular finale will be followed by feasting, drinking and dancing all through the night.
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