Sechseläuten 2009

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Sechseläuten is a spring festival in Zurich. Usually on the third Monday in April, the stores close up after the morning, there are food stalls, a carnival, and finally the guild members parade through town in historical costumes to the burning of the Böögg. The Böögg is sort of the bogeyman of winter in the shape of a snowman on top of a giant bonfire, which is set alight on the stroke of 6:00 PM. For good measure, explosives are added to the Böögg’s head and the time it takes him to explode determines how nice summer will be.

It's noon on the Banhofstrasse and all the stores are closed, but the stalls are open for business.
It's noon on the Banhofstrasse and all the stores are closed, but the stalls are open for business.
Buy yourself a bratwurst and watch them build the bonfire.
Nothing is more fun than having a bratwurst for lunch while watching other people work.
It is, of course, a well-built bonfire utilizing Swiss craftsmanship.
It is, of course, a well-built bonfire utilizing Swiss craftsmanship.
A Teuscher Chocolate shop display for the occasion.
A Teuscher Chocolate shop display for the occasion.
The guild members begin to gather for the parade.
The guild members begin to gather for the parade.

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This is a wine press from 1631.
This is a wine press from 1631. The guild is Riesbach, a quarter in Zurich.

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It was a lot of cheerful fun. The paraders tossed candy and treats to the onlookers, and I myself scored an apple, a cookie, and a squirt of beer. I didn’t get to watch the Böögg burn since I had to get home, but I hear he exploded in a timely fashion and we should have a good summer.

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