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Sechseläuten Exploding snowman hints at a mild summer


Every year, at 6pm on a Monday in April, the Böögg is set on fire on Zurich’s Sechseläutenplatz. 

(© Keystone / Ennio Leanza)

The traditional Zurich weather forecasting method has predicted a mild summer this year.  

The Böögg - a fireworks-stuffed effigy - took 17 minutes and 45 seconds for its head to explode. Legend has it that the quicker the Böögg’s head takes to go off with a bang, the warmer and sunnier the summer will be. 

The Sechseläuten (or “Six Bells”) spring parade each year signals the burning of the Böögg – an effigy representing the long winter months recently endured. 

Last year, the exploding finale took a tediously long time: 20 minutes and 30 seconds. Predictions are to be taken with a pinch of salt. In 2003, the explosion occurred after just six minutes and the country was blessed with a warm summer. In 2014, on the other hand, the head also exploded very quickly, but the summer was cool and rainy. The record is 43 minutes and 34 seconds set in 2017.

This year’s celebration took place under an overcast sky. Several tens of thousands of people attended the procession of the guilds on Monday afternoon. The city of Strasbourg was the guest of honour: the first for a foreign city. 

Zurich tradition A psychic exploding snowman? Welcome to Sechseläuten

Every year, at 6pm on a Monday in April, a snowman is set on fire on Zurich’s Sechseläutenplatz. Not just any snowman, mind you. This is the Böögg.


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