Find accommodation & make a request
from 289 €
Wellness Refugium Alpin Royal
Charm & warmth | St. Johann in Tauferer Ahrntal
from 142 €
LANERHOF Active/Spa/Balance
Spa-Hotel | St. Lorenzen at Mt. Kronplatz
from 96 €
Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Sonnenparadies
Wellness hotel | Terenten at Mt. Kronplatz
from 190 €
WINKLER Sport & Spa Resort
Design hotel | St. Lorenzen at Mt. Kronplatz
from 110 €
Hotel Fameli
Family & spa resort | Olang at Mt. Kronplatz
from 155 €
Luxury . Ayurveda & SPA | Olang at Mt. Kronplatz
from 131 €
SONNENHOF Sun/Spa/Panorama
Sporthotel | Pfalzen at Mt. Kronplatz
from 67 €
Ruster Resort
Place for relaxing | Algund in Meran and environs
from 90 €
Hotel Saltauserhof
Wellness hotel | St. Martin in Passeier
from 110 €
Grand Hotel Bellevue
City hotel | Meran
from 200 €
Quellenhof Luxury Resort Passeier
Sport & wellness resort | St. Martin in Passeiertal

Burning incense in South Tyrol

Cleansing with smoke, driving away evil spirits and keeping away mischief… The time between Christmas and the first days of the new year is full of magic and old traditions.

The so-called “Rauhnächte“ (Rough Nights or Twelve Days of Christmas) originate from everyday rural life. In South Tyrol, they still have a meaning for many people today, albeit in a reduced form. Initially, it was assumed that there were 12 Rough Nights, which symbolized the 12 months of the next year. They began on St. Thomas Day (21 December) and ended on Epiphany (6 January). Depending on the region, different dates are also possible.

In popular belief, the border between this world and the hereafter is particularly thin during these nights, so that all kinds of powers can pass through. Thus, it is considered the best time for predictions and oracles. It was also said that animals could speak and tell of the future during a Rough Night.

In most families today, one to three Rough Nights still play a role. For example, on Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and/or on the eve of Epiphany, incense is burned. If possible, the whole family must be present. In the past, it was interpreted as a bad sign if someone was missing.

The incense tradition in South Tyrol
The incense tradition in South Tyrol

Resins, especially incense, special mixtures and dried herbs are usually placed on the glowing coals in the censer.

xbqs42 -

What is the purpose of burning incense?

Fragrant smoke is not only supposed to purify the air, but also to keep evil away from house and farm, to protect humans and animals from illness and danger. Depending on the incense used, different effects can also be achieved. In the past, for example, the stable was fumigated with wormwood to protect the animals from curses and dark magic. Mugwort, on the other hand, helps against fears, rosemary against negative energies or juniper against a poisoned atmosphere.

How do you burn incense?

First, you put glowing coals into a censer or another fireproof container. Sometimes even an old iron is used. Resins, usually incense or special mixtures, are placed on the embers so that it begins to smoke. If you like, you can also add dried herbs, flowers or roots.

In any case, burning incense is done before 9 p.m., because if it is too late, it is considered a sign of bad harvest. The head of the family carries the censer and waves the smoke into every corner of the house. The family follows him in prayer, one person sprinkling holy water on everything. The small procession starts in the kitchen and goes through every room, including the stable and barn on the farm.

For the exact procedure and details of the incense ritual during the Rough Nights, each family has its own peculiarities. Some wave the smoke to spoons and food on the table. Others under pillows and blankets, or even under the headgear of those present. Still others go around the entire farm three times with the censer.

Current holiday offers

from 230 €
Alpenpalace Spa Retreat

Experience summer in its most beautiful form in sunny Ahrntal - your exclusive hideaway for pure relaxation and glorious sunny days.

To the hotel
from 100 €
Hotel Tirolerhof

Welcome to the Tirolerhof at the gateway to the Gsieser Valley. Your perfect place for active holidays and pure relaxation!

To the hotel
from 122 €
Hotel & SPA RESORT Majestic

TOP hotel ****s in Pustertal - large garden with swimming pool, natural bathing pond, saunas, guided hikes and much more!

To the hotel
from 141 €
Vitalpina Hotel Schulerhof

A dream holiday - for active guests who enjoy relaxation, culinary delights, and friendly interactions.

To the hotel


Selected accommodations in South Tyrol

Garni Ganthaler - Algund in Meran and environs
Garni Ganthaler
Algund in Meran and environs
4.7 Excellent

In a sunny position in the middle of fruit orchards, with dreamlike panoramic view over Meran. Comfortable rooms, garden with pool & Südtirol GuestPass Algund.

from 61 € per day
Obstbauernhof Fohlenhof - Laas in Vinschgau
Obstbauernhof Fohlenhof
Laas in Vinschgau
4.8 Excellent

Many advantages for our guests: personal service, exclusive accommodation, each apartment with balcony, covered car parking, spacious garden and terrace, central position.

from 90 € per day
Garni Hotel Farmerhof - Partschins-Rabland in Meran and environs
Garni Hotel Farmerhof
Partschins-Rabland in Meran and environs
4.7 Excellent

Newly renovated rooms with large balcony in a sunny location close to the village centre, garden & breakfast in the winter garden, ideal for hiking & biking tours.

from 63 € per day
Hotel Bamboo - Latsch in Vinschgau
Hotel Bamboo
Latsch in Vinschgau
4.4 Very good

Unique combination of beach and mountains, glasshouse with nature pool, sauna and whirlpool, typical South Tyrolean dishes and exotic delicacies, guided tours – ideal hotel for active travellers.

from 101 € per day