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New Year Fire Customs

Everybody celebrates on New Year’s Eve, but Scotland and Northern England get completely lit up. Allendale in Northumberland has an impressive parade of flaming tar barrels at midnight. Edinburgh has a fine fireworks display but real fire breaks out in Biggar, Stonehaven, Comrie (not included here since none of our photographers has covered it). On ‘old’ New Year’s Eve eleven days later, Burghead burns its ‘Clavie’. On the last Tuesday of January Lerwick, Shetland, has Up-Helly-Aa, the most spectacular custom in all of the British Isles involving a thousand guizers carrying flaming torches.