Wednesday, 27 January 2010
Up Helly Aa
What a spectacle, what a night! 1000 torches in procession, carried by men in tights! (Some people call this day Transvestite Tuesday)and then the Galley (boat) is burnt. Quite emotional really and it felt like everyone was here to share it.
After the burning I got changed and went to one of the "Halls". Here the fun continues and throughout the evening each of the "Squads" of Guizers come to the Hall in strict rotation to perform a small sketch or dance before moving on to the next hall. The Guizer Jarl's squad goes around the Halls in the opposite direction and it is quite a feeling when they arrive at the Hall. For me this was something like 3.45am. In the Halls men women and children all mix so wonderfully together. There is no alcohol in the Hall itself, for the over 18's there is a room sert aside for drinking, and if you take booze you just put it in here and drink it when you want. (Nobody else touches your booze) The band plays dances (like country dancing and waltzes etc)and people get up to dance with whoever. There are indeed some seriously drunk people there and noboday seems to mind in the slightest, it is all part of the scene. No Trouble at all!! I really could not imagine putting over two hundred people in a room all night and with some absolutley plastered without somethung happening... it all seemed just so natural and safe.
Food was served all night. Tea, Cofee, Tattie Soup, Sandwhiches and cakes, and lots of people just muck in to help it all happen.
I eventually left the Hall at around 7.30am Knackerd but so glad I had stuck it out and been there. How do I feel after accomplishinhg a dream since seeing it on Blue Peter when I was 9 or 10? exhilerated and looking forward to next year. Maybe one year I might even get to go dressed as a woman?