Traditions in South Tyrol
Anyone who sees the traditional Sacred Heart fires, the “Kirchtag Michl” tree or a Thanksgiving procession can learn a lot about the region and people as well as the traditional side of South Tyrol.
Life in South Tyrol is strictly connected to numerous customs and traditions that are still celebrated in the whole region or partially only in several villages. In addition to the generally celebrated feasts such as carnival, Easter, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, South Tyrol offers many special traditions. Here, you can read more about customs such as the homecoming of livestock in autumn, St. Nicholas and Krampus during the Christmas period or about catholic solemnities.
Sacred Heart fires
Sacred Heart day is the second Friday after Corpus Domini. The following Sunday, Sacred Heart fires are lit all over South Tyrol as “blazing proof” of the irresolvable vow of the Tyroleans made in 1796. Frequently, the fires have the shape of hearts, crosses or the signs of Christ “INRI” or “IHS”, or various writings.
Processions and parades are made on different festivities. The colourful processions generally take place in the village centres and environs together with the priest and the village community carrying statues and Christian symbols.
This tradition is strictly connected to Pustertal and takes place in several localities from May to October. The “Kirchtag Michl” is a life-size and masked doll put on top of a high tree. The next day, the doll and tree are put down to the ground and the local associations organise a wonderful festival with regional delicacies and musical entertainment.