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Night of the Flooding Mountains

Once in a year, the fires and valleys of the mountain valley and South Tyrolean Alpine slopes are lit up. The local ones, for more than 200 years, have worshiped the "heart of Jesus" so that they and their homeland can remain under God's protection. Mountains and valleys are lit up with fire in the night and offer all visitors a breathtaking spectacle. This year's holiday is on the last Sunday of June, June 25th.

Already in 1796 the inhabitants of South Tyrol have made a solemn promise of faith and worship of the "Heart of Jesus" in order to secure God's protection and God's blessings in case of threats to their homeland. At that time, local people were preparing for the invasion of the forces of Emperor Napoleon I. At the congress of the provincial administration in Bolzano, therefore, all necessary measures were planned to protect Tyrol, including, on the basis of the proposal of Abbot Sebastien Stöckl of the Stams Monastery, God's Protection of the Heart of Jesus.

Since that year, therefore, a ceremonial worship has been held every year. A few years later, fireworks have also become part of this tradition. Every mountain village and town has its own customs today, celebrating and promising the holiday. Traditional are worship and burning fires; different processions are common. Large fireplaces are planted in the centers of mountain valleys and high in the mountains. There is wood brought from long distances and preparation takes a few hours. The fire creates a long line or shows a symbol that is often a cross, calyx, or heart with a monogram of Jesus.

The authentic atmosphere of the "Heart of Jesus" can be enjoyed especially in smaller towns and mountain villages. Here, most of the hotels are missing, but there are Roter Hahn's farms on which you will be welcomed with open arms. The Etschtal valley can be seen from the Beimsteinhof farm near the village of Vöran, here in the Pustertal Valley, in the village of Egaterhof located in the village of Innichen. Panoramic views of the Vinschgau Valley can be enjoyed at the Rameishof farm near the village of Mals and a real treat is the Moarhof farm in Brixen. The local farmer brings his guests to the top of the "Handskopf" mountain in the night of the burning mountains, from where you can see all the hearths in the Eisacktal valley.

Farmers are open to visitors all year round, not just during the traditional saint's celebrations. Here you can relax in an authentic rural atmosphere, away from busy cities, in the heart of mountain nature. Thanks to the hospitality of local people, you can taste traditional South Tyrolean cuisine as well as fruit, dairy and meat products, wines and spirits.

Source: tz, edited editorially

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