Up Helly Aa: Women and girls to join Shetland's annual Viking fire festival 'jarl squad' for first time

An annual fire festival in Scotland is set to have women and girls involved in leading its torchlit procession for the first time.

Up Helly Aa is held on the last Tuesday of January, and sees participants wear Viking-style clothing and carry lit torches through the streets of Lerwick, Shetland.

Those who take part as Vikings for the day are known as guizers, all of which form different squads.

The lead group is known as the jarl squad.

Up until 2022, only men were allowed to lead the procession. But this year, 16-year-old Jenna Moar will be one of the first female participants.

She is the daughter of Richard Moar, the chief jarl.

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The organisation is run by a voluntary committee of 17 members, each selected by the guizers with one new member elected each year.

The festival starts with a parade at around 8.15am, followed by a second at 7.30pm, which ends with the burning of a Viking galley.