Subject: An odd tradition Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:08 pm
The Sechseläuten is a traditional spring holiday in Zürich The roots of the festival go back to medival times when the first day of summer working hours was celebrated in the guildhalls across the city. City ordinances strictly regulated the length of the working day in that area. During the winter semester the workday in all workshops lasted as long as there was daylight, but during the summer semester (i.e. starting on Monday following vernal equinox the law proclaimed that work must cease when the church bells tolled at six o'clock. Sechseläuten is a German word that literally translates into "The six o'clock ringing of the bells". Changing to summer working hours traditionally was a joyous occasion because it marked the beginning of the season where people had some non-working daylight hours.
Popular tradition has it that the time between the lighting of the pyre and the explosion of the Böögg`s head is indicative of the coming summer: a quick explosion promises a warm, sunny summer, a drawn-out burning a cold and rainy one. The shortest time on record is 5:07 minutes in 1974, and the longest in 2001 with 26:23. The latest explosion of the Böögg`s head (on 16 April 2007) took place 12:09 minutes after the pyre was lit, promising a medium warm summer.
Subject: Re: An odd tradition Tue Feb 26, 2008 11:22 am