VIKINGS ! on Shetland....one for Wayland.

IanM

Nomad
Oct 11, 2004
380
0
UK
I have been twice, great time especially if you like three continuous days of celebrating. You need to be invited into a Hall to see the Guizers performances though, not really a tourist thing as you can't buy your way in, just a personal invite from the Hall's host. If you want to go next year you need to book a hotel now as they soon fill up as many expats return for the week.

The Guizer Jarl leading the Jarl squad is elected for a year and becomes the face of Shetland, touring the world and leading the community, a bit like a mayor. A very important person there, with a lot of influence.

A key document is "The Bill" which is worth trying to read but is fairly impenetrable to non Shetlanders. It sums up the year and covers politics, in-jokes and pokes fun at officialdom.

It is not a re-enactment in any sense but a Shetland cultural celebration. They appear to regard themselves as separate from the UK and aligned but not of Scandinavia. There is defiantly a different mind set there. I would love to move there, I love the place.

Shetland joke.
In 2012 how many God-fearing, tax-paying, law-abiding men in Lerwick were there in the Up-Helly-Aa parade?
Both of them.
 
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Wayland

Hárbarðr
I have been twice, great time especially if you like three continuous days of celebrating. You need to be invited into a Hall to see the Guizers performances though, not really a tourist thing as you can't buy your way in, just a personal invite from the Hall's host. If you want to go next year you need to book a hotel now as they soon fill up as many expats return for the week.

The Guizer Jarl leading the Jarl squad is elected for a year and becomes the face of Shetland, touring the world and leading the community, a bit like a mayor. A very important person there, with a lot of influence.

A key document is "The Bill" which is worth trying to read but is fairly impenetrable to non Shetlanders. It sums up the year and covers politics, in-jokes and pokes fun at officialdom.

It is not a re-enactment in any sense but a Shetland cultural celebration. They appear to regard themselves as separate from the UK and aligned but not of Scandinavia. There is defiantly a different mind set there. I would love to move there, I love the place.

Shetland joke.
In 2012 how many God-fearing, tax-paying, law-abiding men in Lerwick were there in the Up-Helly-Aa parade?
Both of them.

That is as neat a summation as I have ever seen. It took Magnus Magnusson nearly two hours to explain it to me.
 

xylaria

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Shetland is a fantastic place. We are going through a solar maxium for the next 18 months so there is chance you could see the northern lights from there quite easily. It is really worth a visit, we wild camped in the grounds of haunted house when we went. up hella aint really a viking thing it is a get drunk and get together thing which is really important as alot of sheltand is very remote. For proper vikings go to Unst.

Ps dont think the water from ferry port taps is alright to put in a bottle and boil later, on fetlar it is sea water.
 

treadlightly

Full Member
Jan 29, 2007
2,685
1
61
Powys
I spent some time in Shetland twenty years ago and reading this thread brought it back. The people struck me then as tough, self reliant, entrepreneurial and very hospitable. I loved the place.
 

_scorpio_

Need to contact Admin...
Dec 22, 2009
947
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east sussex UK
looks like a nice place to visit, not from a re-enactment point of view, (see entirely non-authentic double bit axe on front page of the site) but looks like fun anyways.
"just a bunch of people in poor fancy dress burning a boat after a few pints" probably isnt far from the truth.
 

_scorpio_

Need to contact Admin...
Dec 22, 2009
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east sussex UK
actually, having looked at it properly its a real shame that they are all dressed in completely in-authentic clothes. there are so many of them there and its such a big thing, so why do it in cheap rubbish kit when you can do it properly?
 

bojit

Native
Aug 7, 2010
1,173
0
52
Edinburgh
Here is a little of the history of the costumes they are far from cheap fancy dress costumes.
http://www.uphellyaa.org/about-up-helly-aa/jarl-squad .

Years ago i worked with a Shetlander in Edinburgh , pride of place in his home were his sword , axe and helmet from the year he joined his grandfather father and uncles at the festival . it is not something that is gone into lightly sometimes with the whole family producing the costumes for that year . his axe was a double bit battle axe forged on the island engraved with dragons and chromed to reflect the torchlight it was a real piece of art , that could of easily done a bit of raiding .

Craig.........
 

_scorpio_

Need to contact Admin...
Dec 22, 2009
947
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east sussex UK
yeah, im not saying they arent putting the effort into the costumes, but there isnt a single thing they are wearing which comes close to being something a viking would have worn or used. to me that is a shame, as it would look spectacular if it was done with proper authentic kit.
that doesnt matter though, because they arent trying to re-create history, but are carrying on a tradition of their predecessors. so as long as they arent claiming its historical re-enactment then its not a problem. it looks to be quite a fascinating history behind it all too...
 

bojit

Native
Aug 7, 2010
1,173
0
52
Edinburgh
You do have a fair point about historical accuracies ,and how many crews would have been wearing identical outfits .

The sight of that many men carrying torches marching through the streets would be something to witness , well maybe some day .

Craig............