Blowing up Winter

File:'Sechseläutenplatz' - 2012 Sechseläuten - Böög 2012-04-16 15-58-04.jpg

Sick and tired of the cold? Can’t wait for Spring to return? Feel like making a real statement about this? Well the best place to meet kindred spirits who put these sentiments into action is in Zurich every third Monday in April.

File:'Böögg' - 2012 Sechseläuten 2012-04-16 18-07-18.JPG

I have never seen a season so forcefully knocked aside as at the medieval Sechselauten which quite literally means the sixth ringing of the bell and which celebrates the changing to Summer time, but more importantly dates back to when Summer working hours marked the beginning of the season where people had some non-working daylight hours.

The climax of the event is setting fire to old man Winter – known in Swiss German as the Boogg. He stands cold and impassive (and – ok – looking quite innocent too!) atop an enormous pyre which is set alight as crowds watch him burn and finally his head blows off – all very final for Sir Winter!

The festival brings together all the various Guild members which is where the Hausers’ come into the picture – quite literally below – as Markus Hauser represents the Guild of Bakers – hence the snowy white outfit and Marinda is in the typical Engadiner costume –  “Engadiner Tracht”. The celebrations go on through the night, with Guild members visiting each other amidst dinning and music, a truly memorable way to shift into a new Season!


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