And now for an explanation of my Ruby Tuesday offering. My Significant Other WP had an extended stay of a business trip to Zurich due to the volcanic ash affecting European air travel, so he decided to make the most of it. On one of the weekends of his two week stay, he was around for the parade portion of the Sechseläuten: Burning the Böögg, ( means ringing of the six'o clock (bell), Zurich's annual Spring event.
The so-called Böögg is a giant three-metre [10 ft] high effigy of a snowman made from straw and cotton wool and charged with explosives, sitting on top of a bonfire. Burning the snowman doll symbolizes putting an end to winter.
Following their parade, guild members on horseback ride around the pyre while the bands are playing the official Sechseläutenmarsch tune. Of russian origin, the melody probably found its way to Zurich during the Napoleonian wars. Zurich's guild members, opposed to the revolution depriving them from their privileges, must have liked it for political reasons as much as for its musical quality.
The pyre is set on fire exactly at 6 o'clock p.m. Legend has it, that the quicker the the poor Böögg "dies" (i.e. his head explodes), the sooner summer will come, the hotter it will be and the longer it will last. Depending on the humidity of the air, the riders, the photographers and the crowd may have to wait between 6 and more than 40 minutes.
WP didn't stick around for the burning of the Böögg, which, had I been with him, I would have absolutely insisted upon, of course. Zurich is a really nice small city, which WP and I visited together in 2006. I would have loved to have been there for the colorful parade full of adorable children and wagons decorated with flowers.
Enjoy! I certainly did.
Ruby Tuesday is hosted by Mary at Work of the Poet