The hip and trendy Generation X & Y’ers may use iPhone applications to track weather updates, but long before Apple entered our lives, millions of Americans depended on a Groundhog for weather predictions, Serbians depended on a bear and in Switzerland…well…a 13-metre high snowman, known as the Böögg!
Yes, it is true – every 3rd Monday in April, the city of Zurich celebrates Sechseläuten by gathering around a burning snowman to predict what summer beholds. And, as the legend goes, the quicker the Böögg burns, the sooner the sunbathing weather will come.
Below is key information to guide you through the events:
Sunday, 15 April
- 2:30pm – 3:30pm: Children’s Parade. Over 2,000 children, aged 5 – 15, wearing historical costumes and accompanied by 800 musicians march miles throughout the city. To view the parade route, visit the official Sechseläuten website.
Monday, 16 April
- 3:00pm: Costume Parade: 3,500 colorfully-costumed guildsmen, 350 horsemen, 50 horse-drawn wagons and 30 bands parade through Zurich. The route travels from the end of the Bahnhofstrasse and goes via Bürkliplatz – Bahnhofstrasse (Contermarsch) – Uran through Zurich to the Sechselaeutenplatz.
- 6:00pm: Burning of the Böögg on Sechseläutenplatz at Bellevue. As the Böögg burns, groups on horseback, gallop around him to the music of the Sechseläuten march, an old hunting march, until the Böögg explodes.
It will be very crowded with tens of thousands of attendees expected, so plan accordingly. If you wish to dine afterwards, be sure to make a reservation in advance as the city will be bumping!
The longest recorded time is 40minutes and the shortest is 11minutes – what will 2018 hold?