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Sechseläuten ceremony Bogeyman forecasts hot summer

Switzerland can look forward to a great summer– if Zurich’s giant exploding bogeyman – the Böögg - is to be believed. In the traditional Sechseläuten ceremony in Zurich the head exploded quicker than in previous years.

The annual event held on the third Monday in April marks the end of winter. The böögg’s head is stuffed with firecrackers and perched on top of a huge pyre. It is said that the less time it takes for his head to explode, the better the summer will be. This year it exploded after seven minutes and 23 seconds.

However, its weather predictions are rather unreliable. In 2007 the national weather service, MeteoSwiss, carried out a study of its predictions over 50 years and found a correlation “close to zero”.

As part of the Sechseläuten celebrations, the members of 25 guilds proceed through the flag-bedecked city wearing historical costumes and accompanied by various bands.

At six in the evening, everything converges on Sechseläutenplatz at Bellevue, on the shore of Lake Zurich, for the burning ceremony. The area has undergone a complete transformation this year, with the Sechseläutenwiese field being turned into the largest urban square in Switzerland. The square was officially opened in time for this year’s ceremony.

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