The traditional Zurich weather forecaster, an exploding stuffed snowman perched atop a blazing pyre, failed to set the traditional holiday crowds alight on Monday. The Böögg took a monotonous 20 minutes and 31 seconds for its head to explode – thus signaling a drab Swiss summer.
The Sechseläuten (or ‘Six Bells’) spring parade each year signals the burning of the Böögg – an effigy representing the long winter months recently endured. Legend has it that the quicker the Böögg’s explosives-packed head takes to go off with a bang, the warmer and sunnier the summer will be.
Under drizzling grey skies on Monday, the process took a tediously long time. In fact, on only four occasions in the last decade has the Böögg taken longer to lose its head.
Last year’s result was altogether more satisfactory, both in terms of the speed at which the snowman exploded and the accuracy of its forecast. Last summer saw lots of sunshine and hot temperatures, just as the Böögg said it would, when its head detonated in under ten minutes.
This year, Zurich’s city trade guilds, resplendent as ever in traditional costumes and riding horses, were joined by guests from Basel and government minister Guy Parmelin and Ignazio Cassis.