Exploding snowman to predict Swiss summer

The Swiss spring ritual of an exploding snowman effigy will predict on Monday evening what kind of summer Switzerland will have. The ‘Böögg’, as he’s called, is placed on top of a giant bonfire in Zurich, while a large crowd waits for the moment his head explodes. The tradition, which takes place annually in April, serves to drive out the winter and hail the spring. It stems from a time when workers in the fields could celebrate the lighter evenings. The longer it takes for the snowman’s head to burst into flames, the worse the summer will be – or so says the legend. The Böögg’s weather predictions haven’t always been completely reliable, however. The pyre will be lit at 6pm. It’s preceded by the Sechseläuten procession, where members of Zurich’s guilds parade through the city on horseback or on foot, often in traditional costumes or throwing out presents into the crowds that line the streets. The guild-members are joined by various celebrities, …

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