Sechseläuten translates literally as "six o'clock people" because the guilds made workers work until dark all year long, except in summer. During summer the law was that work had to end with the six o'clock bells, therefore, the celebratory factor came in because summer was the only time of year people had non-working daylight hours. Cheers to that!
We never once attended the burning of the Böögg, even though we lived so close to the Sechseläuterplatz just in front of the Opernhaus. In the photo above, you can see the street that we lived just a few meters off of down the tram line. From right there, you could catch a tram, ride 4 or 5 stops and be at Fröhlichstrasse, our tram stop. Or you could just walk 15 minutes or so. It was that close. Crazy!
But, as you can see, Sechseläuten is not baby-friendly. We took Coco to the parade a few times and she loved that, but the burning of a very tall bonfire topped off with a snowman filled with explosives? No, thanks. I think we always thought we could go when Coco was older, but I also can't really say I regret not going. Some holidays and customs you adopt and some you don't. Today the Böögg took an unprecedented 43 minutes until it was so thoroughly burnt that the head fell to the ground and finally exploded there. It looks like it's going to be the most miserable summer ever in Zurich. Shoot!
Have you lived abroad? Which holidays and customs did you adopt? Which ones didn't take?
(Posters from Compostella+Perrot, Böögg aerial photo from Luzerner Zeitung, exploding Böögg photo from House of Switzerland)