Italian Youths Lucky to Be Unharmed by Huge Bonfire Explosion

StoryfulPublished: July 4, 2017146,996 views
Published: July 4, 2017

Sacred Heart bonfires are a tradition going back to the mid-19th century in the mostly German-speaking autonomous Italian province of South Tyrol. But it seems that at least some who partake have a thing or two to learn about fire safety.

This video shows large amounts of accelerant being poured onto the mountainside bonfire, which duly explodes in a ball of flame once its lit. After the initial shock, laughter and cheers are heard from the young men around the blaze.

The Sacred Heart ritual is repeated on the slopes of the Tyrolean Alps, from the German border in the north to Bolzano, Italy, in the south, celebrating the annual Festival of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, or “Herz Jesu” in German. The fires remain lit for ten days after the Catholic Feast of Corpus Christi, a tradition stretching back more than 200 years, to a time when the Tyrolean region, which today is split between Italy and Austria, was threatened by war. (source: National Geographic)

So here's a free, unsolicited hot tip for next year's Fourth of July weekend: Absolutely do not, under no circumstances and not for any reason, use fire accelerants to start or increase the size of your bonfire. If there is anything to learn from this clip as evidence, attempted shortcuts can, quite literally, backfire at you.

Credit: Elias Ferdigg via Storyful

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