Zurich: Burn winter burn

Posted in: Zurich


Photo by phanikishore
Photo by phanikishore

Those Swiss really know how to send winter out in style—or, as it were, in effigy! We think the folks in Zurich have the right idea with their spring Sechseläuten festival, which takes place on Sunday, April 15 and Monday, April 16.

Sunday’s festivities will include a children’s parade, followed by Monday’s procession of the guilds to the bonfire. Yes, bonfire. At 6 p.m. sharp, the noble folks of Zurich will burn “Böögg,” an effigy representing “Old Man Winter.” There will be music, horses, and over 7,000 participants in historic costumes. Böögg is filled with firecrackers. The faster his head catches fire, the better the summer is supposed to be.

Why, you ask, in a country known for its skiing and snow, would winter be sent away so violently? We haven’t the faintest idea, but we don’t care. We find Böögg and his bonfire to be just dandy. And we hope that fire goes straight to his head!

About the author

Suzanne Russo

About the author: Suzanne Russo thinks of herself as equal parts California Girl and New Yorker. She moved from San Francisco to New York four years ago to pursue her MA in English, and her obsession with all things New York life and history hasn’t dwindled yet. She is a freelance writer, director of the San Francisco-sponsored, New York literary pub crawl, Lit Crawl, and constant wanderer.

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