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Old customs
Experiencing old customs
Burning disc throwing
Burning disc throwing (‘Scheibenschlagen’) in Vinschgau
Sunday, 18.02.2024 in Mals, Schluderns, Prad am Stilfser Joch
Driving out the winter

Using fire to drive out the winter has always been a great tradition in the Alps.

Old tradition in various Upper Vinschgau locations

‘Scheibenschlagen’ (throwing burning wooden discs into the night sky to symbolize the end of winter and bring good luck) is one of the oldest - and still very much alive - customs in Upper Vinschgau. It was initially a pagan tradition, later Christianised. The first Sunday of Lent is called ‘Spark Sunday’ (Sparkensonntag), and at dusk, after the church bells ring, the ‘Scheibenschläger’ (disc throwers) go to hilltop bonfires under burning straw crosses where they heat their fist-sized wooden discs on rods until they reach glowing point, then hurl them far into the winter sky. Tradition rhymes are recited to accompany the ‘flying saucers’. This custom is meant to drive away the demons of cold and darkness and to herald the arrival of spring.

Burning disc throwing
Burning disc throwing (‘Scheibenschlagen’) in Vinschgau
When Sunday, 18.02.2024
Where Upper Vinschgau
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