Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Up Helly' Aa

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

UP HELLY' AA (R4x48) 4C set Anne Large SCD Archives

1- 8 1s+4s ¾ turn RH to end in line up and down (Men facing up and Ladies down) and dance ½ RSh reel of 4, ¾ turn partners RH to end on sides. 4231
9-16 4s+2s also 3s+1s dance double Fig of 8 (4s and 1s cast to start)
17-24 All set, Ladies dance round partners LSh and back to place
25-32 All set and Men dance round partners RSh and back to place
33-40 4s+2s also 3s+1s dance RH across (3 bars) and LH back, 4s and 1s cast in 1 place while 2s and 3s dance to ends. 2413
41-48 1s+4s dance R&L starting on the sides

(MINICRIB, Dance Crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


Dance Information

Up Helly Aa 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.

The first yule torch procession took place in 1876 and the first galley was introduced and burned in 1889.

The procession culminates in the torches being thrown into a replica Viking longship or galley.

Up Helly' Aa, Edinburgh Image
Up Helly' Aa


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Text from this original Up Helly' Aa article on Wikipedia. Image Copyright Anne Burgess under this Creative Commons Licence.

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