Burning of the Böögg

OK, so I’m a little behind on this, but in April, my friend Stacy and I went to see the burning of the Böögg in Zürich. The Böögg is a giant snowman that is set alight atop a huge pyre and the length of time that it takes to burn predicts the length of the precious summer weather here in Switzerland – sort of like Groundhog Day in the US. This is part of a uniquely Zürich festival called Sechseläuten.
The pristine Böögg, pre-fire.

Fastnacht

This weekend (uncluding a national holiday on Monday) our town is celebrating Fastnacht. It is sort of a combination of Carnivale (Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, whatever you want to call it, Halloween, and Groundhog Day. Everyone dresses up in very wild wierd costumes and there are parades and food and at the end of the festivities, a burning of the Böögg, who is basically an effigy of old man winter.

So far, we’ve attended the opening ceremonies on Friday night that we didn’t fully understand. It was loud, lots of live music and crazy bizarre costumes, but a lot of fun. I’ll post more about it next week once I get the pictures uploaded.

For now, you can learn more about the truly Swiss festival of Fastnacht here on Wikipedia.