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Funken, Kehlegg/Dornbirn © Markus Gmeiner / Vorarlberg Tourismus GmbH
Living Custom

Traditional Bonfires

On Saturday and Sunday (29 February and 1 March 2020) after Ash Wednesday they are burning - the bonfires ("Funken") in the towns and villages in Vorarlberg.

Bonfires in Vorarlberg:

The burning of the bonfire is accompanied by music, sometimes also fireworks, the traditional “Funkaküachle” eating which are made from yeast dough, and hot drinks. Ever since the beginning, this custom has always been supposed to dispel winter and the ferocious spirits of Carnival.

In many parts of Vorarlberg old customs and century-old cultural heritage are still alive. The most typical winter custom in the Alemannic Vorarlberg is “Funken-Abbrennen” – the tradition of burning off bonfires. Therefore, Funken guilds all over Vorarlberg build looming bonfires – artful, polygonal constructions – to which they set fire in the evening in a festive ceremony. The highlight is the explosion of the powder filled witch, which is placed at the top of the wooden tower.

Funken abbrennen in Vorarlberg: Funkenbrauch am Funkensonntag (c) Hans Wiesenhofer
Funken, Kehlegg/Dornbirn © Markus Gmeiner / Vorarlberg Tourismus GmbH

On Saturday and Sunday (29 February and 1 March 2020) after Ash Wednesday they are burning - the bonfires ("Funken") in the towns and villages in Vorarlberg.

In Montafon, especially in the village of Gortipohl, the custom of “disc flinging” is practiced. In addition to the bonfires, a two-metre-long, smooth plank is prepared on a block of wood above which about 500 glowing discs will fly over in one evening, each of them leaving shining arches in the dark night sky. he origins of this initially pagan ritual go back hundreds of years and since 2016, disc flinging has been included in the UNESCO national list of intangible cultural heritage.

Some bonfires (Funken) in 2020:

  • Funken Bregenz
    Saturday 29. 02., Parkplatz West, Druckergasse, free entry

  • Funken am See Lochau
    Saturday, 29. 2., from 3 p.m.
    Bäumler Funken beim Schwarzbad

  • Funken am See Hard
    Saturday, 29. 2., from 7 p.m.
    Harder Funken, Festplatz am See beim Stedepark

  • Funken in Feldkirch Altenstadt
    Saturday 29.2., child's bonfire 4 p.m., 7 p.m. firework and bonfire

  • Funkenbrauch in Dornbirn
    Sunday 1. 3., 7. p.m.
    Oberdorf Dornbirn, Funkenplatz Sandkurve

  • Funkenspektakel Hohenems
    Sunday 1. 3., 7. p.m.
    Funkenplatz Schwefel, Hohenems

  • Funkenabbrennen in Laterns
    Sunday 1. 3., Skiiliftparkplatz Kühboden, with fireworks

  • Funkensonntag in Fontanella
    Sunday 1. 3. 20.00 - 23.00 Uhr
    Dorfplatz Kirchberg

  • Funkensonntag in Bludenz
    Sunday, 1. 3., Funkenplatz
    1. p.m. child's bonfire, 6 p.m. bonfire

  • Funken Klösterle
    Sunday, 1. 3., Funkenplatz, with fireworks

  • All bonfires in Montafon
    Alle Funken im Montafon auf einen Blick
    mit Scheibenschlagen in Gortipohl