Friday 18 October 2019

Austrian town burns ‘world’s tallest bonfire’

The structure measured more than 60 metres.

A bonfire burns in Lustenau, Austria (AP)
A bonfire burns in Lustenau, Austria (AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

An Austrian town has burned what organisers say is the world’s tallest bonfire, clocking in at 60.646 metres (198.97 feet).

The local bonfire group in Lustenau, near the Swiss border, took three months to build the structure.

It burned down in less than half an hour on Saturday evening.

Local residents browse through stalls as the bonfire burns (AP)

The previous record structure was a 47-metre (154.2-foot) bonfire in Alesund, Norway, in 2016.

Western Austria has a tradition of bonfires called “Funken,” or sparks. It is believed to go back to pagan times when people lit fires to banish winter and welcome the arrival of spring.

The big bonfire drew criticism from members of the Green party and the Austrian Association for the Protection of the Alps, which said it was “the wrong signal” at a time of concern about climate change.

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