The Guild Festival
The guild festival also called as the Zünft Festival is celebrated on the third Monday of April. Its a spring festival which consists of the Guild Parade on Monday afternoon and sharp at 18.00 the Snowman or the Bögg as its called in Swiss German is burned at the Opera House Platz or also called as the Sechselautenplatz.
The burning of Snowman
Its again that time of the year where the most awaited Zünft festival/ Guild festival takes place in the heart of the city. This festival goes back to many years. The guilds have ruled the city of Zürich for hunderds of years, today they might not have any political power but they do bring the traditions and the culture in the city alive and going. Sächsilüüte, the spring festival happens in the month of April, mostly in the third or the fourth week of April, always on a Monday.. But the celebrations and the mood already starts on Sunday with the children's parade. Below you can see a few glimpses of the beautiful guild parade. The little cute Snowman/Bögg which you see in the above picture comes literally in a match box, a miniature version of the big Bögg, you can buy it from the shop Marktlücke
The biggest Spring festival in Zürich
There is a Zünft/Guild parade which goes through the Limmatquai on to the Sächsilüüten Platz/Opera House Platz (The open area in front of the Opera House) and there sharp at 6 0' clock the head of the Böögg is lit on fire and people wait curiously for its head to fall down on the ground as soon as possible. Because they say, the sooner the head of the Bögg falls off the better the summer is going to be! There is a lot of expectations from the poor snowman and a lot riding on him. And the statistics are almost about 50% correct. But still everyone hopes the head falls off as quickly as possible and the whole parade and the Snowman thing is telecasted live on the television with a running commentary.
You will see a lot of fresh flowers stands everywhere around the city. According to tradition the Guilds and the people who are walking in the parade are given fresh flower/ a fresh rose/ from friends and families.
Spring is in the air
Spring is literally in the air in April, the flowers are in full flown. At the end of the parade you can see the guilds have a full bouquet of flowers. Women are beautifully dressed and look lovely with their bags and basket of fresh flowers.
So, let me tempt you to visit this beautiful festival which I visited last year with a good friend of mine and Boy! the weather couldn't have been better. It was a super perfect shining sunny day, not too hot, just pleasant and everyone was high in their spirits. What can I say you can look for yourself. We enjoyed our selves with a chilled glass of Apero Spritz and a lot of sun and beauty around us. Have look a the beautiful dresses of the girls, with their gowns, hats and flowers. It takes one in the bygone era.
But this year we are planning to go the the Opera House Platz to see the Bögg burning. I have never seen so much crowd in the city of Zürich, only on certain occasions. The down town is crowded specially in spring and summer months and there are many things going on outdoors and it all starts with the beginning of this festival. Then the chain of summer and spring festivals start. You can see many Street food festivals going on around the city as well.
So do not miss the festival or the parade and dont forgot to take your hot dog, or a bread on the stick or at least some marshmallows to roast on the fire afterwards. Here are some pictures of the parade and you see the whole of Limmatquai, the Gemüse Brucke, Lindenhof, in front of the Rathhaus and about the whole area is full celebration. I specially love to see the guilds dressed in their traditional costumes and you cant take your eyes off the little girls dressed in their costumes as well. Here the little girls are carrying a cart with sponge fishes to throw at the crowd, earlier in olden times it used to be the Zunft Haus zum Schifferlauten or the Guild House for boats ie. Storchen who used to throw real fishes. But its not allowed anymore.
You can buy a ticket and get a place to sit on the benches at the Limmatquai to see the parade and enjoy a drink or dont forgot to visit the Lindenhof, from here you have a great view at the Parade and they have lovely food stands as well. So mark your calender for the 16th of April! Hope to see you around :)