1. You can cheat on your wife and she’ll pretend it never happened!
Up Helly-Aa is the perfect time to reflect on your failed marriage or relationship and use the opportunity to freely cheat on your partner.
Lerwick Up Helly-Aa famously bans women from being in squads, so your indiscretions can be completely secret! Better yet, most Shetland women know it’s going on but no-one seems to care! It’s amazing!.
2. Women finally get to do housework in their glad rags and heels!
Up Helly-Aa is a truly special night for women. Not only do they get to let their husbands off the hook as we noted above, they also get to do housework in their glad rags!
As women are banned from being in a squad, they attend one of 11 halls throughout the town. At these halls, they’re expected to clean, serve, cook, and help men cheat on their wives. Sounds great? Well get doubly excited ladies – you get to do all of this in your best dress and high heels! Incredible!
3. Your net stockings may finally convince a fellow squad member you are worth a shag
Now don’t worry fellas – this isn’t just a ladies night out. From about September, you’ll have been meeting weekly with your squad and you will probably have had your eye on that guy. You know who I mean. Him. Beer belly. Receding grey hairline. Drinks McEwans Lager. He’s perfect.
On the evening of Transvestite Tuesday, you’ll put on your best stockings and if you play your cards right, you can be drinking McEwans too if you know what we mean! Sexy!
4. The police are too busy joining in to notice arson taking place
Up Helly-Aa famously ‘polices’ itself – but that’s because of a little known fact that there is an undercover CiD placed in every squad who reports directly to the Jarl on any misbehaviour. With the police involved, Up Helly-Aa is the perfect opportunity to light a fire somewhere. Chances are, people will think it’s part of the fun! Hot!
5. With everyone out of their homes, burglary becomes easy!
Since every member of Shetland’s police force are involved in Up Helly-Aa and everyone in Lerwick is out of their home to watch the ceremony, there’s never been a better opportunity to rob some houses! The ceremony is usually from 7pm until 8:30/9pm. Get to the best houses on Snob Hill early to beat out the other thieves! Easy pickings!
6. Shetland Times make a shed load of cash printing a brochure no one reads
Everyone loves supporting local businesses, right? Well on Up Helly-Aa, local businesses get to do exactly that – by sponsoring a booklet (read by no-one) in the Shetland Times with expensive adverts, Shetland’s local business community unite to keep the doomed paper afloat for a few more months! Charitable!
7. The Sound Hall actually gets used
The Sound Hall is well known in Shetland as a venue that sites empty almost every night of the year – but that all changes on Up Helly-Aa. On the last Tuesday of every January, the Sound Hall Committee eject the squatters, clear the cobwebs and wipe down the windows because the venue is (somehow) still used as a UHA hall! Open doors!
8. You can grow a beard without being called a hipster twat
The hipster trend that spread throughout the United Kingdom effectively lasted for four years, 2011, to 2015. As it’s 2016, 5 years since the trend started, Shetland is just about to be struck by a wave of hipsterism.
Now, the problem with hipsters is that the lengthy beard makes you look like a proper twat. However, UHA allows men in Shetland to grow beards as long as they want and as long as you pretend that it is for UHA, you’ll be fine! Facial hair!