Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Viking-era celebrations might have looked like this

But this is actually the 2008 Up Helly Aa celebration in Shetland, an annual celebration vikingized in 1878.

This is one picture from installment one of the Big Picture's "best of 2008" collection. Here is an astonishing Aussie contribution that has nothing to do with war or natural disaster.


  1. Actually, I prefer to look at Up-Helly-Aa as Living _Victorian_ History, and NOT as Living Viking History.

    They really are stuck in a mode - still today - of how the Victorians saw the Vikings. This festival has little to do with the actual history of the Vikings, and if we fail to take the Victorian influence into consideration then we're doing Viking history a grave disservice.

  2. Good point. All historical appreciation and re-creation is made up of many layers, like an archaeological site, or any undug human community.