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The Summer Solstice brings very special solstice celebrations to towns and villages throughout Tirol. After sunset, bonfires are lit on mountaintops all over the country.
Dating back to the Middle Ages, different traditions to celebrate this special occasion have emerged in different Tirolean regions and towns. Numerous local clubs and associations light their own mountain bonfires on Solstice Night around June 21 to mark the longest day of the year. Shortly after nightfall, these fires illuminate the mountains and create a mystical atmosphere. In 2017, these spectacular fiery scenes depicting worldly and Christian motifs and symbols can be seen on June 24.
The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (second Sunday after Corpus Christi) reminds of the year 1796 when Tirol got "engaged" with the Sacred Heart of Jesus to protect them against the invading French troops. As a sign of the oath, Sacred Heart fires were lit on mountain tops and slopes. Since the mid-19th century, mountain ranges throughout Tirol are illuminated with countless bonfires to remind of the oath to the Sacred Heart. In 2017, the Sacred Heart Fires are lit on the weekend of June 24 and 25.