Alta Badia - Dolomites ItalySuedtirol



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I füc dl Sacher cör de Gejú - The Sacred Heart Fires


In South Tyrol, as in the neighbouring Tyrol, religious devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is deeply felt and interwoven with historical and patriotic aspects. The origin of the devotion goes back to the events of 1796, when Tyrol was in danger of war. In order to protect Tyrol from the French invaders, the divine assistance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was invoked. A feast day was later introduced in honour of the Sacred Heart.

On the night before the Feast of the Sacred Heart, it is tradition to light summit fires on the mountains around the villages. Preparations are already made in the afternoon by carrying wood to the peaks, where torches or lamps are also set up, arranged in patterns with special religious significance, such as a chalice, a cross or a heart. The large fires can be seen from far away.

The summit fires are probably also an expression of a revival of the old ritual fires at the summer solstice.