Frequently Asked Questions

Who is The Guizer Jarl?

The Guizer Jarl is the Chief Guizer, the leader of the Jarl Squad who are the Vikings for the day. See our page about the Guizer Jarl & Jarl Squad.

How is the Guizer Jarl selected?

To be elected onto the Up Helly Aa Committee the candidate(s) need to be proposed and seconded. There then follows a vote by the guizers who select the person they wish to serve on the Committee and organise the festival on their behalf. Further information is available on the Committee page.

What is the Jarl Squad?

The Jarl Squad consists of the Guizer Jarl’s squad who are the same group of men that normally participate in the festival amongst the other 45 squads. See the Guizer Jarl & Jarl Squad page.

How many people participate?

In 2009 there were a total of 970 Guizers, of whom 886 carried torches during the procession.

What time exactly and on what day do the events commence and where?

See the Up Helly Aa day page.

Who are the main players and what are their roles?

See the Committee page.

How does the event end? What is the traditional ending?

See the Procession page.