Mountains on fire

Summer solstice bonfires

Year after year, the mountains are set ablaze during the time of the summer solstice – for good reason: It’s a true event highlight in the region when the longest day and the shortest night of the year are celebrated with spectacular and fiery designs. Every year approximately on the third Saturday in June, the valley basin of Ehrwald-Lermoos-Biberwier is illuminated by a special kind of light – if the weather allows it. Don’t miss out on taking part in this unique and breathtaking event on the Tyrolean side of the Zugspitze! 

By the way: In 2010, the mountain bonfires of the Tiroler Zugspitz Arena were declared immaterial UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. 

Next date: June 19, 2021 at 21:30 
Duration: approx. 2 hours 
Alternative date: June 26, 2021

Interesting facts about the “mountains on fire” event

Countless creative designs

Even before the sun sets, numerous visitors eagerly anticipate the bright-orange fire sculptures that are about to illuminate the mountains – among them the Wetterstein range, the Mieming range and the Lechtal Alps. The images portrayed by the fiery masterpieces are diverse, and they surprise visitors year after year. The designs range from symbols from mythology and spirituality to current topics. Glowing crystals, stags made of fire or luminous hearts are only some of the many impressive creations that have the audience in awe every year. 

Preparations for the Tyrolean solstice bonfires

The planning process of the solstice fires in Ehrwald starts several months ahead of the actual event. More than 300 so-called “mountain firers” have made it their mission to ensure that the breathtaking masterpieces illuminate the mountains right on time. This requires taking thorough measurements of the mountain faces, based on which the motives of the spectacular fire sculptures are designed. 

Afterwards, up to 700 bags – filled with sawdust and rapeseed oil – are transported onto the mountains and then neatly arranged to form an image. Anchoring them in the steep terrain at 2,000 metres above sea level as well as descending at night requires extensive mountaineering experience and climbing skills. In total, about 10,000 individual fires are lit. 

By the way: Bonfires during summer solstice have their origin in an old tradition that dates back to the 14th century. At the time, the fires were believed to protect people from demons and evil spirits. 

Getting here and the best viewing locations

If you plan to arrive by car, you are kindly asked to park at the public car parks in the region. Furthermore, camping is only allowed on designated camping grounds. To get the best view, visitors are recommended to use the footpaths in Moos – from this location you can see the entire valley basin. 

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