Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Farewell, Winter! Hello, Spring!

 2013 parade
Zurich has an annual festival (Sechseläuten) celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of spring. (For more information, refer to Google.) Our first spring here, Tom and I went to the main parade and stayed to see the burning of the böögg (snowman on top of a bonfire). The length of time he burns is meant to predict the quality of the summer. A long burn indicates a cold, dreary summer, but I put little faith in the böögg's accuracy.


There is also a children's parade which I'm guessing is shorter than the three hour long parade we saw. These pictures are courtesy of a friend of mine. I'd like to go  next year. The children are so adorable.

newspaper ad

In March, I discovered mini-bööggs were  available for online purchase! Since Tom's birthday is April 1st, this seemed like the perfect April Fool's gift.

The evening of the official celebration, we had our own private Sechseläuten on our balcony. Here is a series of pictures of the preparation and demise.

hat removed

pegs removed and mini-firecrackers inserted

looks the same, but now firecrackers are in place


the end - firecrackers have burst

It was fun to do, but I did feel evil burning him. He was so cute in the beginning! We used this as the starter for a "normal" fire and sat outside to enjoy the beautiful evening as it turned into night.


This man has been building the böögg for 50 years, but this was his last. He gave it a special crown to mark the occasion. 

The next day, we had our summer weather prediction:
burning for 20 minutes and 39 seconds isn't very good. Maybe I'm glad I'll be in the USA for quite a bit of the summer. I hope July in Switzerland is good!

And for the folks who do not feel right about burning the böögg, there is another way to dispose of him: eat him!

Happy Spring everyone!