Montag, 18. April 2016

Sechseläuten Instead

Not Contest Yet

Sorry. Today a son came home and he is leaving again in the morning - with packages for some of you - so I was busy today. Contest will come, but not today.


Today was Sechseläuten in Zürich. The word means six rings, and refers to the time the church bells ring when the fire is lit. This is a guild festival ( of bakers and butchers and ship-builders and weavers, and many more) that ends winter with parades of hundreds of horses and scores of carriages, and all people in historic costumes of various periods, and thousands of flowers,  and many marching bands, all celebrating the burning of the Böögg. He is a huge snowman, filled with explosives, set on a very tall pile of wood. The faster his head blows off, the sooner summer is supposed to arrive.

Normally I go to watch the parade, but not today. I saw it on a screen, thus the poor quality of these pictures.These men are lighting a mortar in the city street during the parade.

The Böögg in the Platz in front of the opera house.

Today, and all weekend was very rainy, so the wood was soaked. It normally takes about ten or so minutes for the head to blow, sometimes double that in a slow year. This time it took over 43 minutes.

A fancy fellow lights the fire at precisely six o'clock. The wood was soaked in massive amounts of fuel to help the fire, but it still took a while and more augmenting to get going.

Then each guild takes turns doing some gallops around the burning Böögg. The numbers in the corner of the screen show the elapsed time of the burning.

You see how long it took for the fire to get up the wood stack to the figure.

Eventually the head caught fire...... but....

... after awhile it melted it's supports and fell off (a major no-no).

But then in a few seconds, it exploded and was timed as finished - 43 1/2 minutes.

Afterward everyone is invited to roast Cervelas and Bratwurst over the fire. I'm not sure if anyone did this year.

I do hope it doesn't take summer a comparable time to get here.


  1. Oh, my! Hilarious! And so funny that you are using modern technology to participate. Is that a first? Next time I want to watch too!

  2. Yes, Pam, I am getting up to date and very modern - only ten years behind the times now and catching up fast: watching a live event on a computer. Yes, it was a first for me. I have attended this festival in person for years and wanted to see the end (too busy to watch the whole of it). You and anybody can watch. Just look up Sechseläuten and the year. Past years are on-line, too.
    I am sorry about the lack of picture quality, but I didn't want to have no pictures. Maybe tomorrow I will add the old paintings I did of the festival.