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Thursday April 20, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

Burning the Böögg is one of the odder Swiss traditions. Apparently this summer will be hot!

Updated Monday 24th April:

Fine weather ahead for Switzerland!

Well the good news is that Switzerland, or Zurich at least, is set to have a good hot summer according to the Böögg weather predictions.

The Böögg was set on a pyre over 3m high, and at 6pm exactly the bonfire was set alight.

The ritual burning is part of the Swiss celebration of Sechseläuten that heralds spring, and the quicker the head erupts with explosives the hotter the summer will be.

It appears that it took 9:56 minutes for the head of the Böögg to explode.

This is a massive improvement on last year where it took 43 minutes for the pyrotechnics in its head to ignite and explode, and as predicted the Swiss summer of 2016 was rather wet and dull in places.

So will it be a hot Swiss summer?

We'll have to wait to see... fingers crossed.

Watch Monday's event in the video below:

It was quite a spectacle with horses racing round the burning pyre:

Read more below on what the Böögg or Bogeyman represents in Switzerland:

Watching the Böögg burn and explode is one of the stranger Swiss events that marks the start of Spring and gives a much anticipated forecast for summer weather.

It's rather like the way we use St Swithins Day as a weather predictor.

So what is the BÖÖGG?

We've all heard of the bogeyman but fewer of us have heard of the Swiss equivalent, the Böögg man.

He is Switzerland's most famous snowman and symbolises winter.

The burning of the Böögg is an annual tradition that drives out the winter and is a rite of spring.

He burns dramatically and explosively on a pyre.

The burning of the Böögg takes place every year in Zurich and this year it will be on Monday 24th April.

The Böögg ... predictor of Swiss Summer weatherBurning the Böögg ... predicting Swiss Summer weather













It's part of the celebration known as Sechseläuten.

This is a Swiss German word that literally translates as "The six o'clock ringing of the bells".

The Böögg or 'snowman' (a straw figure similar to that of the British Guy for Guy Fawkes) is placed on top of a pyre that is set alight and he is burned at 6 o'clock precisely.

His head is filled with fireworks or similar explosives.

The quicker the Böögg's head catches fire, burns and explodes the better the summer weather will be.

The accuracy of the Böögg weather predictions is a little random and doubtful.

However, back in 2003, the burning of the Böögg predicted a very hot summer, and somewhat unexpectedly it was accurate!

His head exploded within a record-breaking 5 minutes 42 seconds.

The Video below has some background on the Böögg and how it is made:


As soon as the Böögg's head explodes, spring will have arrived and the summer weather will be have been forecast. 

So, will Switzerland have a hot summer this year? 

We'll have to wait to see what the Böögg predicts on Monday.

Perhaps we should take bets on how long will it will take for the Böögg's head to explode?

More info on The infamous Böögg burning event here >>

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