Over 800 Vikings, a huge dragon ship set ablaze by flying torches and a crowd of five thousand spectators – for 24 hours, on the last Tuesday of January, the town of Lerwick on the Scottish archipelago of Shetland goes more than a little wild. The annual Up Helly Aa festival is a unique celebration of Shetland’s Viking past that you have to see to believe. And it is only the first of many exciting ways to relive the past in Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.
With over one third of visitors drawn to Scotland for its history and culture, VisitScotland has hailed the 2017 themed year as an exciting opportunity to experience Scotland’s fascinating heritage through a range of events and activities.
A Great Roman Bake-Off, large scale projections of Viking imagery, a live archaeological dig of St Kilda in Minecraft and a festival to celebrate the life of Mary, Queen of Scots, are just a few of the events lined up to make history in 2017.
On World Heritage Day 2017, Scotland will celebrate its six iconic World Heritage Sites with six unique events from dawn to dusk (Scotland in Six). And in September, the Vikings will conquer Shetland once again for the Follow the Vikings Roadshow & Festival. The Nordic warriors will excite audiences with fire breathing, fierce re-enactments and beach raids. Visitors can step aboard the actual long ships used in the popular Vikings TV series, see inside the newly reconstructed long house and even dine at a Viking banquet.
The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology Signature Event Programme:
|Spectra||9-12 Feb 2017||Aberdeen|
|Edinburgh Georgian Shadows||23 Feb – 26 March 2017||Edinburgh|
|Scotland in Six||18 April 2017(World Heritage Day)||Scotland-wide|
|Tradfest Edinburgh||26 Apr –7 May 2017||Edinburgh|
|Paisley’s International Festival of Weaving||1 & 2 July 2017||Paisley|
|Follow the Vikings Roadshow & Festival||2& 3 September 20178& 9 September 2017||Shetland|
|Horsepower||9 September 2017||Falkirk|
|Mary Queen of Scots Festival||September 2017||Kinross and Loch Leven|
|Shining Lives||Autumn 2017||New Lanark World Heritage Site|
The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 began on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. For more information, please visit www.visitscotland.com/hha2017 or watch our 30 second video here: https://youtu.be/CY48Kq0r24E
The hashtag for the year is #HHA2017