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The start of spring

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Today is Sächseleuten, the official start of spring in Zürich. There will be a big parade of all the guilds, in traditional costumes, many on horseback with big decorated floats through Zürich. Local politicians and  dignitaries walk too…a couple of years ago the president was within a yard of where I was standing. No special security though…this is peace-loving Switzerland!

The culmination of the parade is the burning of the Böögg – a model of a snowman, the huge pyre being lit by horsemen racing around at it’s base. There are explosives in the head of the snowman, and the length of time it takes till the head explodes is supposed to predict what sort of a summer we are going to have. As it’s raining the chances of a quick explosion – and therefore a warm summer – don’t look that good.

Normally there are huge crowds – it’s a bank holiday, but today I’m not so sure as it’s very cold and grey and rainy – all of three degrees right now. Brrr. I’m afraid I’m staying home. There’s always next year and today feels more like a day to hunker down and light a log fire. One social butterfly daughter will be out joining the fray though. Why miss a chance to hang out with your friends just because it’s cold any wet?

Maybe I’m just getting old!

Helen

4 Responses to “The start of spring”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    I’d love to see that snowman explode!

  2. Katy Says:

    It’s dry here so far, but 1 C when I walked in to work this morning – brrrr!

  3. MelD Says:

    Yes, it’s another year I won’t be going… after nearly 30 years in eastern Switzerland, I have still never seen it live; I usually either forget or can’t make it for one reason or another. Today the weather, i.e. the cold, has put me off.
    Back to the TV screen (if I remember!) for my viewing. And we just KNOW it’s going to take ages…! ;(

  4. diane stanley Says:

    I love all the festivals in Europe. Burning a snowman…great idea.