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Up Helly Aa.
Yesterday was the last Tuesday in January when the people of the Shetland isles celebrate their Norse Viking roots in the festival of Up Helly Aa. In its current form it is not particularly ancient being about 130 years old and dating from a Victorian interest in the Island’s Norwegian roots. The celebrations last 24 hours and as I write at 7.30 am GMT celebrating Vikings will not yet have made their way to bed. Today is a public holiday in the Shetlands, for obvious reasons.
The men and boys in the procession are called guizers and I find myself wondering if that is the root form of the London expression for man, geezer, as in the phrase, which sounds a little old fashioned now, 'es a real tasty geezer.