Sechseläuten 2018. Bye bye, Winter!

I know, it’s been almost a month since spring began… But as I wrote on my last post, it took a few more days before we could feel it in Switzerland. But since it came, the last days in Zurich have been warm and clear and everything is blooming around! This last Monday, we welcomed the new season in Zurich with a huge festival: Sechseläuten!

I’ve already told you about this spring festival. Last year I saw my first Sechseläuten  and I couldn’t like it more! But last Sechseläuten was very crowded, as the day it took place was sunny and hot and it looked as all Zurich was on the street watching the parade and the burning Böögg. This year I planned it better, arrived earlier and I could enjoy almost all the parade from a very good viewpoint (the fact that forecast was rain for the time of the parade helped a lot!! This year there wasn’t as many people). And this year I did know what to expect and what was all about.

If you haven’t seen my post from last year (you can find it here), I’ll tell you what Sechseläuten is. This festival has medieval roots. It celebrates the first day of summer working hours in the city. In old times, the winter working hours were from sunrise to sunset. In summer, the working hours ended by law when the churches’ bells rang at 6 o’clock (Sechseläuten is the Swiss German word for, literally, “the six o’clock ringing of the bells”). And the Zünfte, the traditional guilds of Zurich (some of them founded in the XIV century), celebrated the first day of the summer working hours, as from that day, they had still a few free daylight hours. Nowadays, the guilds of Zurich still celebrate this day with a huge parade. The members of the guilds dress in traditional and historical attire, costumes and uniforms and march along the main street of Zurich, Bahnhofstrasse, with its own music bands and horsemen.

The parade ends at Sechseläutenplatz, where the Böögg, an effigy full of fireworks of a snowman representing winter, waits to be burnt in a huge pire. It’s the highlight of the festival!!! The tradition says that the faster the Böögg’s  head explodes, the better the weather will be in summer . And while the Böögg is burning, the horsemen from the parade make a ceremonial galloping around the bonfire. It’s quite a sight!!

I love Sechseläuten. This is the kind of festivity that brings together the young and the old. The city is beautiful dressed for the occasion with flags of Switzerland, Zurich and the guilds everywhere. There are flowers all around and it is specially beautiful to see the people from the public give flowers to the members of the parade until they accumulate a huge bouquet. And it’s also fun to see the members of the guilds giving chocolate, sweets, biscuits or even wine to the people the public! I’m really happy I was able to watch the parade and all its details better this year.

By the way, this year it took 20 min and 31 secs before the Böögg’s head exploded (last year it took only 9 min and 56 secs). So the forecast for this summer is bad weather…. Fortunately, Böögg’s predictions are not famous for being very accurate!! Let’s hope we have a lovely summer weather here in Zurich!

Well, here are some photos I took this year of the Sechseläuten parade and the burning of the Böögg (there are more than usual, so scroll down to see all of them!). I hope you like them!!

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Sechseläuten parade. Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/3.2 1/800sec. ISO200
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Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/3.2 1/500sec. ISO200
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Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/3.2 1/400sec. ISO200
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Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/2.8 1/500sec. ISO200
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Canon EOS 1200d 55mm f/5 1/400sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 250mm f/5.6 1/400sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 178mm f/5.6 1/400sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 163mm f/5.6 1/200sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 157mm f/5.6 1/400sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 135mm f/5 1/250sec. ISO400
IMG_2993
Canon EOS 1200d 250mm f/5.6 1/400sec. ISO400
IN8A1122
Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/2.8 1/640sec. ISO200
IMG_3002
Canon EOS 1200d 211mm f/5.6 1/400sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 117mm f/5 1/500sec. ISO400
IMG_3056
Canon 1200d 55mm f/5 1/500sec. ISO400
IMG_3072
Canon EOS 1200d 166mm f/5.6 1/400sec. ISO400
IMG_3079
Canon EOS 1200d 146mm f/5 1/320sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 135mm f/5 1/1000sec. ISO400
IN8A1169
Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 70mm f/2.8 1/1000sec. ISO200
IMG_3118
Canon EOS 1200d 60mm f/5 1/800sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 250mm f/5.6 1/640sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 180mm f/5.6 1/1000sec. ISO400
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The Böögg. Canon EOS 1200d 146mm f/5 1/3200sec. ISO400
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Canon EOS 1200d 89mm f/5 1/800sec. ISO800
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Canon EOS 1200d 89mm f/5 1/1250sec. ISO800
IN8A1249
Canon EOS 5d Mark IV 63mm f/2.8 1/1000sec. ISO200

 

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17 thoughts on “Sechseläuten 2018. Bye bye, Winter!

    1. Thanks a mil!! This festival is one of my favorite days in Zurich!! It’s like half of the city participates in the parade and the other half are watching it and giving flowers to the people in the parade… And then all the city goes to the burning snowman. It’s amazing!!
      And yes, I think they are really close!! Specially when the fireworks in the snowman explode…. but fortunately there are firefighters controlling everything 🙂
      Here everything is blooming!!! Between the colorful flags from the parade and all the flowers, the city looks so pretty these days (and smells so good too, hehehe). Now I hope the Böögg’s forecast is wrong and the cold does not come again (last year it snowed the last days of april!!)

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Danke vielmals!!! Ich bin froh, dass dir die Fotos gefallen!!
      Die Zürcher Sechselauten haben mittelalterliche Wurzeln, aber das Festival mit der Böögg ist nicht sehr alt (Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts). Ich mag deine Version auch !! Es ist sehr süß mit allen Kindern, die an der Parade teilnehmen 🙂
      Entschuldigung, wenn mein Deutsch nicht sehr gut ist, studiere ich es immer noch! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a million, Anne!! This time I arrived early, so I picked a good spot, hehehe and it was very cloudy and almost raining, so there wasn’t as many people as last year!
      I love this holiday (half day holiday, hahaha). It’s so colorful!!! Like in other European countries, here they welcome spring with fire (it was the same in Sweden, where they make those huge pyres in Valborg on the 1st of May), but I like the previous parade, with all the kids, the horses, the traditional attires, the music. It’s something very unique from Zurich!!
      Such a pity I didn’t have a good sight of the burning snowman… maybe next year I’m even luckier than this year! hehehe
      Have a great day, Anne!!

      Like

  1. Such a great report, thank you for sharing this party with us! I am always amazed at how organized and festive German-speaking people can be (sorry, for putting you in one crowd, maybe you would disagree 🙂 I have lived in Austria and Germany and got my admiration there). And free drinks being given out! What else to wish for? Spring, flowers, youth, party and drinks 🙂 Life celebration 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a mil, Marina!! I totally agree, German-speaking people give everything when they prepare their festivities!! I think I’ve never seen a more beautiful Christmas than in Zurich this year… and Sechseläuten is another example! They think in all the small details and the result is always superb!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not yet!!! In Switzerland we have Fasnacht, and I think it is celebrated in all towns, but the most famous is the one in Basel!! I want to go and see it! In Spain we celebrate Carnaval too, but it’s more colorful, more similar to the Brasilian one…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. And where in Spain do you come from? You have an interesting name, by the way 🙂 Oh, Spain is the country of festivals and fiestas. It is amazing what kind of different celebration you people have there :))

        Like

      3. I have a very “Catalan” name, I know… But I was born in the Canary Islands and my parents are both from Madrid….. 😛
        Yeah, in Spain we know how to make parties and celebrations 🙂 But they are so different to the festivals and celebrations of other European countries!! I like how the Swiss celebrate nature!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh, I thought it must be Canaries when you mentioned carnival! They say in Tenerife it is as big as in Rio. Is it true?
        Yes, your name made me wonder, hehe. I live with a Catalan man so your name awakes associations 😊
        I was thinking today of this celebration thing while writing my post about spring signs. The nature and its seasons must be so important in countries like Switzerland and so people celebrate it with such vigor. The nature becomes divine when the destinies depend on spring arrival so much. I imagine how in old times they saved their food for the whole winter. So no spring would mean hungry death. Maybe, in Spain the relationship to nature is different and so the fiestas too?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed a very nice day here in Zurich! Everybody is involved in some way and everybody enjoys is! It’s so colorful and you can feel the happines of the people around you because, finally, spring is coming! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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