Up Helly Aa 2022 Postponed

The organising Committee for Up Helly Aa have announced that the 2022 festival due to take place on Tuesday 25th January 2022 will be postponed again this year.

Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the guidelines of hosting events and festivals during the release phases of Covid-19 it has been decided to postpone the festival until January 2023.

Up Helly Aa as an event relies on numerous factors coming together at one time to be able run smoothly and safely. Planning for the event takes place a full year ahead of each festival and despite the best efforts to continue organising the festival through the various restrictions that have been in place to date this year, it is clear now that despite the release of further restrictions there isn’t sufficient time to run the event in its normal format.

We know this will be disappointing news for many, particularly at a time when guidance is relaxing for Covid. Many questions remain however as to what life looks like for this type of event in the coming months and for that reason it’s unfair to put the responsibility on the hundreds of volunteers it takes to organise the festival.

It is only now we can start planning with some hope and confidence for the event to return in 2023.

The date of the next festival will be Tuesday 31st January 2023.

Welcome to Up Helly Aa

Welcome to the official website for Up Helly Aa, which takes place in Lerwick, Shetland, on the last Tuesday in January every year. Up Helly Aa day involves a series of marches and visitations, culminating in a torch-lit procession and the burning of a galley.


Up Helly Aa is a community event, with countless volunteers contributing many hours each winter towards organising and planning the following year’s festival.

The Guizer Jarl and his squad begin their preparations in February, and many long hours of hard work go into the design and production of their fabulous outfits.

The Up Helly Aa Committee begin their year preparing the Up Helly Aa Exhibition that runs from May until September in the Galley Shed. This boasts a full size Galley, Jarl Squad suits, other Squads memorabilia and an extensive collection of photographs recording the suits worn and the guizers involved.

In early September the Guizers of the remaining 46 squads begin their squad meetings and preparations. This involves determining the character(s) that they wish to portray with their suits, making the suits while also creating and practising their act to perform in the halls they visit through out the evening.

At the end of September the Galley shed is transformed back into to a working shed where the Galley and the torches are constructed during the winter. During this same period the Committee progress preparations including the Collecting Sheet and Bill.

Up Helly Aa Seal

We hope you enjoy the site and the information it provides.

Up Helly Aa Committee