Yesterday was “Sechseläuten” (in Swiss German: Sächsilüüte), a traditional holiday in the city of Zurich. Since the early 20th century, it is celebrated on the 3rd Monday of April of every year.
I watched the parade of the “Zünfte” (guilds) with my girlfriends wearing an embroidered top with lace sleeves, matching skirt and choker by Dolce & Gabbana, Dirty ’50s stretch-denim jacket by Saint Laurent, boots by Prada, bag by Chanel and sunglasses by Balenciaga.
Now, that I have been living in Switzerland for over twelve years, Sechseläuten is so much fun because you know many of the people who are walking the parade. You present the participants with flowers and you are gifted with the specialties of the guilds in return. This can be a glass of wine, a bread roll or even a radish.
The culmination of this popular tradition though is the burning of winter in effigy, in the form of the “Böögg” (cognate to bogey), a figure of a snowman prepared with explosives (see collage above).
It is said that the time between the lighting of the pyre and the explosion of the Böögg’s head is indicative of the coming summer: a quick explosion promises a warm, sunny one, a drawn-out burning a cold and rainy one. This year, its head was falling off very fast, after 9 minutes und 56 seconds which predicts a great summer.
Cheers to that!
Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht