Vikings’ excitement for Aberdeen Christmas lights switch-on

Members of the Jarl Squad carry flaming torches through Lerwick on the Shetland Isles during the Up Helly Aa Viking festiva
Members of the Jarl Squad carry flaming torches through Lerwick on the Shetland Isles during the Up Helly Aa Viking festiva

A leader of an Up Helly Aa Viking group has spoken of their excitement at being part of the festive celebrations in Aberdeen.

As previously revealed by the Evening Express, the SMUHA Up Helly Aa Vikings will be making the trip from Shetland to the Granite City, where members will lead the annual parade along Union Street, kicking off the city’s official Christmas celebrations.

They will bring their traditional torches, as well as a long boat that will also pass through the city’s main thoroughfare.

The parade will begin at 5.30pm on Sunday, after the celebrations are kicked off by Lord Provost Barney Crockett and a Santa Claus fun run in support of Charlie House.

It will feature a number of floats, plus pantomime and festive characters, led by Grampian and District Pipe and Drums.

Viking Guizer Jarl Ian Bray said: “We are hugely excited and honoured at the prospect of taking part in this year’s fire and ice parade.

“Aberdeen is considered a home from home for many Shetlanders, and it will be a real privilege to march down Union Street, with our galley and our torches, letting the Granite City know the Vikings have arrived.

“The fact we will get to meet Santa and his reindeer is the icing on the cake, and we look forward to soaking up the Christmas atmosphere over the whole weekend.”


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The Lord Provost said: “The Christmas lights transform the city centre each year, brightening up the dark nights and bringing the festive season to life.

“The parade is a great way for families and friends to enjoy this magical time of year in the city centre and for many the light switch-on parade signals the start of the celebrations.

“There is lots to see and do in Aberdeen this Christmas and I’d encourage everyone to enjoy what’s on offer throughout the festive season.”

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The parade will start at Albyn Place at 5.30pm, before making its way along Union Street to the Castlegate, where the Christmas lights will be switched on.

More information on festive events can be found at aberdeencity.gov.uk/christmas.

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