On Saturday and Sunday after Ash Wednesday they are burning - the bonfires ("Funken") in the towns and villages in Vorarlberg.
In 2023, the Funken weekend falls on 25 and 26 February. The currently fixed dates/locations can be found below. The list will be continuously updated as soon as sparking dates are fixed. Please note that due to the weather conditions (e.g. strong wind) the sparks can be cancelled at short notice!
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.
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.