There is definitely one thing that I really enjoy about Switzerland and holidays - public bonfires. During the entire Christmas season there was a public fire Stübli by the train station in Baden every night. But nothing beats the symbolic burning of an effigy. This is something powerful in this European tradition. Having seen something similar in Bologna, Italy this past New Year's Eve, I'm beginning to think that the burning of effigies is something lacking in American holiday traditions.
|Guilds parade in Zürich|
What better way to celebrate the oncoming, enjoyable months of summer than by literally blowing-up the head of Old Man Winter? After the parade of guilds, guild members set fire to an enormous wood pile with a snowman, called der Böögg, perched upon the top.
But wait! It gets better.
|Burn baby, burn!|
Unfortunately for us, this year was extremely rainy and liquid fuel had to be added to the soaking wet snowman. It still burned in about 7 minutes. After the fire has burned down to a safe level, families often bring sausages to roast on the remains. Take that winter.