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Spark Sunday (Funkensonntag) in the Montafon
Celebrate around the bonfire
On the first Sunday after Ash Wednesday the Fastnacht ends and the first Sunday of Lent – the Spark Sunday – is celebrated in order to banish the winter. The name comes form the traditional fire of sparks that is annually kindled during these celebrations. In the Montafon this custom has been a long tradition and is still celebrated today.
The meaning of the Spark Sunday
The Spark Sunday symbolises the banishing of the winter and takes place annually on the Sunday after the Ash Wednesday.
A spark is make out of wood and on its peak sits a witch. The witch symbolises the ghosts of the winter and the ice. The spark and the witch are supposed to bring new life and spring to the Montafon.
Spiritually the Spark Sunday also stands for letting go of old things from the last year (habits, illnesses, memories, experiences, …).
The traditional fire of sparks on the Kristberg
In the older days the Kristberg locals called the Spark Sunday “Altfasna(ch)t” or “Altfasna(ch)t Sunntig”. After the Twelfth Day the older pupils started with the “Funkozüho” (collecting of wood for the spark). As long as there was still snow they took the “Horner” (sleigh) otherwise they would take a rack wagon. This way as many boys as possible could pull the heavy burden. A robe with five crossbars was attached to the front. The children would walk through the valley on school-free afternoons and call their sentences.
„Schittr, Schollo, Stroh! Wird dr Funka hoh!
Stroh, Stroh – semmer froh! Alte Wiber nemmer oh“
They got “Schittr” (logs) from the people, “Buschla” (faggot) or straw for the spark and “Lumpa” (fabric remnants) for the witch. In some places the would, as a sign of gratitude, yell:
“Eu sollen d``Küachle ufgo wia-na Kopfküsse!“
If they did not get anything they called:
“Eu sollen d`Küachle hocka blieba wie na verreckte Krot!“
The construction of the spark
In the older times the construction of the spark was “Buabasach” (a task for boys). They collected the material for the spark, witch and torches and built the spark as well as started the fire and swayed the torches or threw the discs and at the end would jump over the blaze of the burnt spark. At the night when they came home they got a “Küachle” (cake) or other culinary delights.
Montafon poem about the Spark Sunday and the eating of the “Küachle”:
Funka Sonntig ischt,
gerals hockt am Tisch,
drof i großer Zahl,
Küachle vieler Zahl!
Alle grifan prächtig zu,
dr Täta, Mama und der Bua!
Zmol fochts lut a plära,
D´r Täta set: "Gingili was tuast,
Küachli sen gat gnuag!"
"T´s plära macht mi a,
wel i nömma ka!"
Spark Sunday in the Montafon hotel on the Kristberg
Celebrate the Spark Sunday with the indulgence team at the Kristberg Panoramagasthof and enjoy the big bonfire at the power place in the middle of the Alps. The Zudrell family and the whole hotel team is looking forward to your no obligation holiday enquiry or online booking for your indulgence room on the Kristberg.