7. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival | Scotland

Up Helly Aa (/??ph?li?/ up-hel-ee-?) refers to any of a variety of fire festivals held in Shetland, in Scotland, annually in the middle of winter to mark the end of the yule season. The festival involves a procession of up to a thousand guizers in Lerwick and considerably lower numbers in the more rural festivals, formed into squads who march through the town or village in a variety of themed costumes.

Lerwick, UNITED KINGDOM:  Shetlanders dressed as Vikings take part in their traditional fire festival "Up Helly Aa" in Lerwick, on the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland, 31 January 2006. After parading through the streets from first light, the day culminates with participants in costume pulling a Viking longship through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 "guizers (men in disguise) throw flaming torches into the galley, and watch it burn. AFP PHOTO / JOHN D MCHUGH  (Photo credit should read JOHN D MCHUGH/AFP/Getty Images)
Lerwick, UNITED KINGDOM: Shetlanders dressed as Vikings take part in their traditional fire festival “Up Helly Aa” in Lerwick, on the Shetland Islands, north of Scotland, 31 January 2006. After parading through the streets from first light, the day culminates with participants in costume pulling a Viking longship through the streets of Lerwick to the edge of town where up to 1000 “guizers” (men in disguise) throw flaming torches into the galley, and watch it burn. AFP PHOTO / JOHN D MCHUGH (Photo credit should read JOHN D MCHUGH/AFP/Getty Images)