Shetland's spectacular annual Up Helly Aa festival has come to a fiery conclusion in Lerwick. The event celebrates the Shetland Islands' Viking heritage, and is traditionally held on the last Tuesday of January. Up Helly Aa concludes with the burning of a replica Viking longboat. During the day, a band of latter-day Viking warriors known as the Jarl Squad attend a series of marches and public appearances to teach locals about their Viking ancestors. The event attracts visitors from across the world and is seen as a tourism boost to the Shetland Islands.

IBTimes UK presents Andy Buchanan's photos of this year's Up Helly Aa Viking Festival in Lerwick, the Shetland Isles.

Up Helly Aa
Police officers joke with a Viking as they get breakfast in a cafe before the annual Up Helly Aa festival in LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Participants dressed as Vikings eat breakfast as they prepare to participate in the annual Up Helly Aa festival in LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
People dressed in Viking costumes order their breakfastAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
The Jarl Squad line up in front of their Viking longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
A Viking chats to a man in a pub before the start of the festivalAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
The Jarl Squad march through the streets of LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
A man dressed as a Viking has a beer during the parade through LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Vikings process along a street as they prepare to participate in the annual Up Helly Aa festival in LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Men dressed as Vikings parade through LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
A Viking stands on the prow of his longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
A close-up of the links on the armour of a participant dressed as a VikingAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
A wax seal shows the symbol of the guizer jarl – the group dressed as Vikings who participate in the annual Up Helly Aa festival in LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Torches are lit by participants dressed as Vikings during the annual Up Helly Aa festival in LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
A man dressed as a Viking is illuminated by the burning longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Vikings carrying flaming torches walk around their longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Guizers process around their Viking longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
The Jarl Squad prepare to set fire to their Viking longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
The flaming torches of participants dressed as Vikings are seen as they process around their longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
The Vikings set their longboat alightAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Participants dressed as Vikings process around the burning longboat during the annual Up Helly Aa festival in LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
The Viking longboat burns during the annual Up Helly Aa festival in LerwickAndy Buchanan/AFP
Up Helly Aa
Vikings are silhouetted against their burning longboatAndy Buchanan/AFP