Sechseläuten

Sechseläuten is a traditional spring festival in the Swiss city of Zurich. It is organized on the 14th of April. The first Sechseläuten festival was held in 1902. The festival starts with the parade of 26 guilds ("zünfte") wearing historic costumes. Each group has its own band and horse drawn floats.

Sechseläuten
Sechseläuten

Members of the guilds walk to the place on lake shore called "Sechseläutenplatz". It is the place where the Böögg is burned. Böögg (in English bogey) is the symbol of winter. He is kind of a snowman filled with large amounts of explosives. In its original form he was a carnival character who frightened local children during carnival season.

It is believed that the way Böögg burns predicts the weather in summer. If his head explodes fast the summer will be filled with lot of sunshine. On the other side, slow burning means a cold and rainy summer.

The Sechseläuten festival also includes several other events. The Kinderumzug is a parade of children wearing various historic and folk costumes. The ceremonial ride of the guild members around the bonfire can also be seen. Members of local guilds visit several guild halls and exchange experiences and gifts. This tradition is known as the Auszug.