UK Fire Festivals - Pictures of Winter Fire Celebrations Around the UK

  • 01 of 11

    Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

    Guy Fawkes Burns
    ••• An Effigy of Guy Fawkes blazes on a giant bonfire during Britain's annual Guy Fawkes events. The sinister image belies the celebration of the foiling of a 17th century plot to blow up Parliament. britainonview

    Lighting Up the Night

    All over the UK Fire Festivals light up and shorten the long, Northern European nights. Drawing on a heritage of Viking, Celtic, Anglo Saxon and ancient British traditions, and throwing in some modern high spirits for good measure, Brits don't need much of an excuse for lighting the touch paper to an assortment of fiery late autumn and midwinter celebrations. Giantic fireworks displays, huge bonfires, torchlight parades and breathtaking displays of fearlessness in the face of flames are all part of the UK Fire Festivals season. Take a look!

    Bonfires commemorate the foiling of a 17th century plot to blow up Parliament. Celebrants burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, one of the plotters, on the bonfires.

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  • 02 of 11

    Flaming Tar Barrel in Ottery St. Mary

    Burning Tar Barrel Run in Ottery St. Mary, Devon
    ••• In Ottery St. Mary, Devon, locals maintain a bizarre autumn tradition. On bonfire night, young men run through the town carrying a flaming, tar coated barrel - holding on until it becomes too hot or the barrel breaks up. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

    UK Fire Festivals - The Flaming Tar Barrel is one of the UK's bizarre, fiery celebrations for Guy Fawkes.

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  • 03 of 11

    The Daring Young Man Under the Flaming Tar Barrel

    UK Fire Festivals- Carrying the Flaming Tar Barrel in Ottery St. Mary
    ••• In an ancient tradition - the reasons lost to antiquity, young men carry flaming, tar coated barrels through the streets of Ottery St. Mary, Devon, on November 5. The challenge is to hold onto the barrel as long as possible. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

    Carrying the Flaming Tar Barrel is a daredevil activity in Devon, one of the UK's unusual Fire Festivals.

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  • 04 of 11

    The Burning of the Clocks in Brighton

    Brighton Fire Festival
    ••• Brighton's Burning of the Clocks is a fire festival for people of all ages that includes a parade, the burning of homemade lanterns on Brighton Beach and big display of fireworks over the English Channel. britainonview/brightononview

    Brighton marks the Winter Solstice with The Burning of the Clocks. A paper lantern parade ends with fireworks and a bonfire on the beach.

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  • 05 of 11

    Torchlight Procession Kicks off Edinburgh's Hogmanay Festivities

    Hogmanay Parade - a UK Fire Festival
    ••• UK Fire Festivals - At least 15,000 people march the torchlight procession that traditionally kicks off Edinburgh's Hogmanay festivities for New Year. www.britainonview

    The Torchlight Procession that begins Hogmanay, Edinburgh's 4-day New Year's celebration, is a family affair. At least 15,000 torchbearers march.

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  • 06 of 11

    Wicker Figure Meets at Fiery End on Carlton Hill, Edinburgh

    Edinburgh Hogmanay Ends in Flames
    ••• Hogmanay, Edinburgh's traditional 4-day New Year's Festival, begins and ends with fire. On Carlton Hill, eerie, blazing wicker figures - like this 7-meter-long Catalan bull - mark the climax. Peter Sandground/Getty Images

    The conclusion of of Edinburgh Hogmany is a blazing bonfire on Carlton Hill, usually involving a huge wicker figure.

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  • 07 of 11

    Fireball Swingers Celebrate Hogmany

    Stonehaven Fireball Swingers Welcome the New Year
    ••• In Stonehaven, Scotland, revellers celebrate Hogmanay, the Scottish celebration of New Year's Eve, by swinging baskets of fire above their heads. At the end of the procession the flaming baskets are thrown into the sea. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    In Stonehaven, a Scottish coastal town, kilt clad revellers swing baskets of fire in a dramatic Hogmanay (New Year's) celebration.

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  • 08 of 11

    An Orgy of Flame at the Stonehaven Fireball Parade

    Stonehaven Fireball Swingers Disappear in Flames
    ••• Terrifying Hogmanay Drama of the Stonehaven Fireball Swingers. The Fireball Swingers seem completely enveloped in flames. At the end of the parade, the fireballs are thrown into the sea. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    Brave fireball swingers are enveloped in flame during the Stonehaven Fireball celebration, part of Hogmanay in this Scottish town.

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  • 09 of 11

    UK Fire Festival - Up Helly Aa in Shetland

    Vikings March Through the Streets of Lerwick, Shetland, for Up Helly Aa
    ••• Locals dressed as Vikings march through the streets of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands on the last Tuesday in January, for the festival known as Up Helly Aa. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

    Locals dressed as Vikings march through the streets of Lerwick in the Shetland Islands on the last Tuesday in January, for the festival known as Up Helly Aa.

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  • 10 of 11

    A Dramatic Climax to Up Helly Aa

    Circle of Fire in Shetland's Up Helly Aa
    ••• Shetland Fire Festival - In Lerwick, locals dressed as Vikings, surround the doomed galley which will soon be set ablaze by up to 1000 torches. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

    As many as 1,000 "Vikings" surround the doomed Viking galley. They will soon set it alight with their torches at the climax of Up Helly Aa, a late January UK Fire Festival in Lerwick, capital of Shetland.

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  • 11 of 11

    Viking Longboat is Licked By Flames

    Viking Longboat in Flames
    ••• Viking longboat succumbs to the flames of 1,000 torches during Up Helly Aa in Lerwick, Shetland. eff J Mitchell/Getty

    The dramatic moment of Shetland's Up Helly Aa occurs when 1,000 Vikings set a colorful longboat ablaze with their torches at the water's edge.