Summer solstice fires on the Nordkette mountains above Innsbruck, © Tirol Werbung/Christian Wührer
Summer solstice fires on the Nordkette mountains above Innsbruck, © Tirol Werbung/Christian Wührer

9 spectecular lighting bonfires in Tirol


As the longest day of the year draws to a close, bonfires are lit on mountaintops all over the region to celebrate the summer solstice.

The tradition of lighting bonfires in the mountains around the 21 June dates all the way back to the Middle Ages. Numerous local clubs and associations climb into the mountains each year to build mighty fires high above the valley floor. Shortly after nightfall these fires are set ablaze and illuminate the mountains to create a mystical atmosphere. These spectacular fiery scenes depicting secular and Christian motifs and symbols can be seen in June.

The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (second Sunday after Corpus Christi) is also still celebrated in many parts of Tirol. It reminds of the year 1796, when an oath was sworn with the Sacred Heart of Jesus to protect Tirol from the invading French troops. As a sign of the oath, Sacred Heart fires were lit on mountain tops and slopes. This tradition continues in parts of Tirol today.

 

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