Monday, April 26, 2010

Ruby Tuesday Goes To Zurich, Switzerland

NOTE:  See also this post which features my photo on the cover of a professional journal and witness my 15 seconds of fame! 

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
Thanks, Mary!







17 comments:

  1. A very, very ruby Tuesday. And a very interesting display. Too bad you could not have been there to enjoy it with him.

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  2. I love both your photos! Thank you for sharing them. Happy RT.

    Here's mine.

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  3. There been a lot of things erupting L. He might as well make the best of it

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  4. Please offer my congratulations on the very nice pictures. Oh yes, I'm with you. You just don't get the opportunity to see exploding snowman heads very often.

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  5. I'd say this parade was made for Ruby Tuesday!

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  6. Children clad in red,
    when you see exploding head—
    then it’s time for bed!

    Ruby gum flower

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  7. Great collection of shots. I love the costumes.

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  8. We only spent about 30 hours in Zurich, but I liked it there very much. I do wish I had seen that parade!

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  9. What a fabulous looking festival! I can't believe he left before the climax. I'm with you, I'd not have budged :).

    Congratulations on your journal cover - it's a gorgeous shot and an excellent choice for the theme!

    -----------------------------------
    My photography is now available for purchase - visit Around the Island Photography and bring home something beautiful today!

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  10. Ohhhhhhh, such an excellent array of rubies! I loved 'em all.

    :::PUNCH!!::: Red One!! You've been warned...be alert...commercial, straight ahead. [In other words, mine's posted]

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  11. the photos are wonderful!!
    what a great experience and a fine way to make the best of being stranded away from home

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  12. I've never been to Switzerland, but they are famous for all kinds of historic parades. If I do not remember wrong one the the great fiction authors have some great scenes from one of the parades.
    This welcoming of the spring was especially beautiful.
    Great report from a special country.

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  13. The look of tradition is here, marching along the route with Swiss precision. I like the dress, I feel like I have seen this style in olde New England garb as well. The streets and buildings keep their wonderful charm and style over the centuries. Excellent photos!

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  14. I think this was a fantastic choice for Ruby Tuesday. Unexpected but also a very cool lesson, as I might have never learned about this tradition elsewhere.

    ...I'll bet YOU would love to light a giant snowman on fire! Hahahah :) I think what you meant to write was, "The sooner its head explodes, the louder Pagan Sphinx will cackle."

    Just kidding! I hate winter too; we're almost out of the woods (although rumors allude to snow for tonight...ew?).

    -UM

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  15. Very cool that you were a breastfeeding peer counselor. I'm actually an LC myself, as well as a volunteer bf'ing counselor. There's nothing more satisfying than helping a mom and baby get it together, is there?

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  16. I love these images and reminded me how much l miss Switzerland. Used to go there when l lived in Luxembough!lynda
    http://chocolatelifeandjazz.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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