Armfuls of spring at Sechseläuten

colourful float

Armfuls of flowers march by as a celebration to spring erupted onto the streets of Zurich earlier this week. With bags full of every colour carried to the parade, bright flowers are gifted to the passing men, women and children. I suspect all the local florists are a happy bunch.

marching band

a row of trumpets

Marching bands, horse-drawn floats, riders and folk parade through the streets towards the Böögg. The burning, and ultimate explosion, of this snowman, signals the end to winter. Sechseläuten, a local celebration in Zurich around this time every year, welcomes spring and bids farewell to winter.

the böögg

Traditionally started in the 16th century by the Zurich Guilds, it was a way to allow workers to down tools earlier in summer so as to enjoy some daylight hours. In winter, they worked till dark and in summer, with the longer daylight hours, the bell of Grossmünster tolled at 6 pm to signal the end of the workday. The name literally means ”the six o‘ clock ringing of the bells”.

flowers and flour

getting ready to horse around

Nowadays the Zurich Guilds (associations of artisans or merchants) prepare themselves for an afternoon street parade. Members dress up in historical costumes and each Guild is accompanied by a marching band.

the camel and the rose

explosion

This colourful spectacle marches onwards to the beat of drums and lively music providing a feast for the senses. The procession this year entertained the crowds gathered along the streets and even included a bunch of men on stilts, dancing couples, a belly dancer, cyclists on old-fashioned bicycles, dogs and a few camels.

little flower girls

little flower boys

Once they arrive at the Sechseläutenplatz in front of the Opera house, the riders gallop around the Böögg, as the bonfire below is set alight.

armful of flowers

Popular tradition now speculates that the time between lighting it and the explosion of the head gives an indication of the summer to come. A quick explosion indicates a hot summer, whilst a delayed one suggests a cold and wet one. If the Böögg is to be trusted, then this summer isn‘t looking great as it took some 17 minutes and 44 seconds to explode.

catch

How do you say “bye winter, hello spring”?

I like to look to Mother Nature as she changes seasons. Her wisdom reminds me to let go of the cold things that no longer serve me and welcome the new blossoms of creativity that brighten our world.

Happy spring/autumn. Actually, just happy change of seasons friends.

love and light, Delicia xxx

2 thoughts on “Armfuls of spring at Sechseläuten

  1. happy new season to you my dear! such a beautiful tradition you have there. love to see the kids and how proud they seem to be. it’s still cold here, no outdoors flowers yet! today i got myself beautiful tulips from the grocery store, at least i have a little bit of spring indoors. 🌸

    • Happy new season to you too sweet soul. I hope the flowers arrive soon to brighten up your garden. I can‘t wait to see your photos. Enjoy your tulips to celebrate spring indoors today. It is snowing lightly here again. So the buds and blossoms are rather cold. Happy sacred day Elizabeth. 💚

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