Weather-predicting snowman to burn in gorge to reduce Covid risk

The burning of the Böögg will go ahead without crowds. © Keystone / Ennio Leanza

The Zurich Böögg snowman will be set aflame in a gorge in another part of Switzerland to prevent people from breaking Covid restrictions.

This content was published on March 23, 2021 - 14:23

The  traditional spring festival, which has been running since 1892, sees the immolation of the effigy whose head is stuffed with fireworks. Legend has it that the quicker the Böögg’s head explodes, the warmer and sunnier the summer will be

The event usually takes place in the large Sechseläutenplatz square in Zurich, attracting thousands of onlookers. The city authorities had previously announced the burning would be screened live on television without spectators on April 19. On Tuesday it was announced that canton Uri, in central Switzerland, would play host to the ceremony in the remote Schöllenen Gorge near to the spectacular Devil’s Bridge.

This is to allow the event to take place in compliance with pandemic lockdown measures that forbid crowds of people to gather together.

In 1890, a decorated doll (a forebearer of the Böögg) was burned in Zurich in an attempt to drive off a “Russian flu” epidemic.

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