Up Helly Aa
You know what really lights up a winter evening? A humungous fire. The holiday season in Scotland is typically ended by a “fire festival,” and the largest and craziest of them is Up Helly Aa. Held in the town of Shetland, the celebration involves up to a thousand “guizers,” locals dressed up like Viking pillagers, marching through town carrying flaming torches. Their destination is a replica Viking warship, which all of the pseudo-Vikings surround and sing to before tossing their torches at it and burning it to the ground. One of the more bizarre aspects of Up Helly Aa is that women aren’t allowed to participate, so plenty of Shetland locals get their ya-yas out by dressing as girls for the occasion.