Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sechseläuten Monday

Above is a shot from the Sechseläuten Zug der Zünfte (the procession of the guilds). This is one of my favorites because traditionally, membership in the guilds was only open to men, so the vast majority of the participants in the parade are men. Mostly, the women stand on the sidelines handing out flowers to the guildmembers they know (husbands, fathers, brothers, friends, etc...) as they walk by. It was nice to see a woman with her own bunch of flowers for a change, so I decided to post a picture of her. More pictures of the parade here.

And below is the highlight of the entire festival: the burning of the Böög

According to tradition, the Böög, an efigy of a snowman stuffed with explosives, is placed on top of a huge pyre. After the parade, at preciesly 6 pm, the whole thing is set on fire in order to blast away the Winter, and welcome the Spring. Legend has it that the sooner the Böög's head explodes, the warmer, longer, and better summer we will have. It took just over 12 minutes for his head to blow up, meaning that we should have a moderate summer this year. With apologies to Punxsutawney Phil, I must say that the Böög is a far more exciting weather forecaster. Click here for more details on yesterday's events.


Anonymous said...

Wow. Very nice photographs. Also I enjoyed your commentary about the event and the efigy of the snowman about to explode. I would guess when it exploded that it showered everyone with sparks from the blaze.

Abraham Lincoln

angela said...

Thanks for the explanation and photos. The young woman looks so pretty in her costume, it's no wonder she's been given flowers.

Curly said...

I love the fact that some communities strive to keep their old traditions going strong. So many are lost in modernity!

South Shields Daily Photo

Sue's Daily Photos said...

Als Ausland-Zuercherin haben mich deine schoenen Sechselaeutenfotos sehr gefreut! Es hat mir ein bisschen "Heimatgefuehle" gebracht. Und die Schweiz IST ein traditionsreiches Land! Dies zur Bemerkung von "Curly"...