mountain solstice saalfelden leogang

Wednesday, 29.05.2024

mountain solstice saalfelden leogang

A look behind the scenes of fire-burning and festivals not to be missed

Countless fires will be lit on the mountain ridges of the Steinernes Meer and the Leoganger Steinberge on June 22, 2024.  The traditional fires in Saalfelden Leogang can be admired at various events. You can either enjoy the midsummer festival at Ritzensee in Saalfelden or take the Asitz cable car up to 1,870 m above sea level in Leogang to see the mountain fires up close. You can see thousands of midsummer bonfires in a 360° radius. Culinary specialties and live music are provided in the Alte Schmiede.  


Centuries-old traditions and a glowing edelweiss made of 800 torches 
Fire provides warmth, security and light and has always stood for transformation. It can destroy, but it can also preserve life with its warmth, it burns away the old and creates space and nourishment for the new. In many ancient cultures, fire was used for purification. Looking at it calms the mind, touches the soul and thoughts come to rest. A special ritual in Saalfelden Leogang is the bonfire at the summer solstice. In Saalfelden Leogang, these fires are considered to be particularly beautiful and unique. Every year, members of the Alpine Club, the mountain rescue service, the fire brigade and the Friends of Nature association put the Leoganger Steinberge and the Steinerne Meer in the spotlight with the many bonfires. The glowing outlines of the mountains and the many fire pictures can be easily observed from the valley. One of the most famous fire pictures is the edelweiss in the Steinernes Meer, between Persailhorn, Mitterhorn and Breithorn. For over 50 years, the Saalfelden fire brigade has been drawing the 100 meter wide and 180 meter long edelweiss in the snow at over 2,000 meters using around 800 torches. The exact size of the image always depends on the current snow conditions. At 10 p.m. sharp, three red flares are shot from the valley as the starting signal for the lighting of the fires and the mountains light up.  
The origins of this old tradition date back to the 12th century and according to Pinzgau folklore, the midsummer fire drives away evil demons that cause illness, damage to livestock or hail. As a symbol of the sun, the fire was also supposed to bring growth and fertility to meadows and fields.  The first organized midsummer bonfires were lit in Saalfelden on 28 June 1931. The lads from the "Körner" gymnastics club set off to light up the chain of peaks from the Persailhorn via Mitterhorn, Breithorn, Sommerstein to Schöneck with torches. The famous Edelweiss has only been lit since 1956. In 1931, the rucksacks for the mountain fires were still loaded with dry firewood. Today, the fires are made from leftover candles.


Solstice festival at Lake Ritzensee 
At the picturesque Ritzensee lake, Saalfelden delights guests and locals with a very special midsummer festival. Countless bonfires are lit on the mountain ridges around the Saalfelden basin. The giant edelweiss in the middle of the Steinernes Meer provides a glowing floral greeting. 

18.00 hrs Start of the event at Lake Ritzensee 
From 19.30 hrs Musical accompaniment by the small orchestra of the Saalfelden railroad town band 
From 22.00 hrs burning of the mountain fires 
The event only takes place in good weather. Admission free!


Solstice bonfire on the Asitz 
The mountain ridges are ablaze! From the Asitz (1,870m above sea level) you can marvel at thousands of midsummer fires in a 360° radius. 

Special ride on the Asitzbahn cable car from 5.00 pm - midnight (ascent and descent: € 22,- (special price from 5.00 pm) children up to 15 years free). 
Culinary specialties and live music are provided in the Alte Schmiede. 
For the youngest visitors there is a bouncy castle at the mountain station. 
from 21.00: Hike to the small Asitz (20 - 30 minutes) 
from 22.00: Burning of the midsummer fires! Sturdy shoes and warm clothing are recommended.