The present-day Böögg is a snowman figure measuring 3.40m (11ft) in height, which is placed on the top of a 10m (33ft) tall bonfire. Nowadays, it is tradition to ask the Böögg to forecast the weather for the coming summer. During the Sechseläuten ceremony, the pyre with the Böögg on top is set alight. It is said that the faster the fire reaches the snowman figure and his head explodes, the finer the summer will be.
Official Burning Times of the Böögg in Recent Years
|Year||Burning time||Year||Burning time|
|2011||10 min. 56 sec.|
37 min. 59 sec.
|2010||12 min. 54 sec.|
|2009||12 min. 55 sec.|
|2020||Cancelled||2008||26 min. 1 sec.|
|2019||17 min. 44 sec.||2007||12 min. 10 sec.|
|2018||20 min. 31 sec.||2006||10 min. 28 sec.|
|2017||9 min. 56 sec.||2005||17 min. 51 sec.|
|2016||43 min. 34 sec.||2004||11 min. 7 sec.|
|2015||20 min. 39 sec.|
|2014||7 min. 23 sec.|
|2013||35 min. 11 sec.|
|2012||12 min. 7 sec.|
Burning Times Explained
|0 – 6 min||6 – 10 min||10 – 15 min||> 15 min|
Flops, Failures and Flaws
- In 1921, a young lad – allegedly incited by communists – already set fire to the Böögg at 1.30pm.
- In 1944, Sechseläuten was held at Enge Harbor, as its usual site, the Sechseläutenwiese, was being used to grow vegetables. On that occasion, the Böögg tipped over and fell into Lake Zurich.
- In 1950, 1960, 1993 and 1994, the Böögg fell off the pyre before its head had exploded.
- In 2006, the Böögg was abducted by a group of leftist revolutionaries. It reappeared at the Swiss Labor Day festivities at Helvetiaplatz on May 1, and after disappearing again, it eventually turned up in the cellar of a school building. Nevertheless, the burning of the Böögg still went ahead as scheduled – using a spare snowman figure.
- In 2020 and 2021, Sechseläuten had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Participating Guild Members
Around 3,500 members of the various guilds, all wearing historical attire, traditional costumes and uniforms, take part in the Sechseläuten parade. In addition, there are 350 horsemen and 50 horse-drawn parade floats. The colorful procession is accompanied by 30 music ensembles.
Every year, some 2,000–3,000 children take part in the Children's Parade. They do not need to belong to a guild in order to participate. They are dressed in traditional attire or historical costumes and are accompanied by around 800 musicians.
Every year since 1991, a different Swiss canton is invited to take part in Sechseläuten as a special guest, and presents its regional specialties on the Lindenhof. Politicians from the guest canton also have the opportunity to walk with the parade as honorary guests.