Swiss blow up huge snowman

Swiss blow up huge snowman

The snowman Boeoegg burns on a mountain pass in Switzerland as party of Zurich spring festival.
The snowman Boeoegg burns on a mountain pass in Switzerland as party of Zurich spring festival.

ANDERMATT, Switzerland: A giant snowman brandishing a pitchfork exploded in a blaze of fireworks atop a pyre on a snowy mountain pass named Devil's Bridge on Monday, the first time the spring festival ceremony has been held outside the Swiss city of Zurich.

That the snowman effigy named Boeoegg blew up fairly quickly was taken to herald a "great summer" ahead, a positive outcome after last year's festivities were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The burning of Boeoegg -- the climax of Zurich's traditional spring holiday Sechselaeuten -- is normally held in the city centre, but coronavirus restrictions meant that was not possible this year.

Instead the snowman was sent 100 kilometres south of Zurich and installed on the famed Devil's Bridge in Schoellenen Gorge, the site of dramatic battles between French and Russian troops in 1799 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Boeoegg -- who represents the evils of winter -- normally holds a broom, but given the bridge's name, this year he was handed a pitchfork.

Local tradition says that the time between the lighting of Boeoegg's pyre and the explosion of his fireworks-stuffed head predicts what the coming summer will be like.

This year it took a relatively speedy 12 minutes and 57 seconds, despite the improvised pyre being exposed to freezing cold and wind in the heart of the mountains.

While a decent time, it is still significantly more than the record of five minutes, 42 seconds recorded during a heatwave in 2003.

Boeoegg's speedy demise prompted debate on local channel TeleZuri, broadcasting the event, with a spectator commenting: "I think it will be a great summer."

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (3)

BoT offers new debt repayment phase

The Bank of Thailand is set to announce phase 3 of its debt restructuring measures for individual borrowers on Friday to help ease hardships stemming from the impact of the third wave of Covid-19.

08:00

Experts call for new standards to combat airborne disease

WASHINGTON: Building standards need to undergo a "paradigm shift" to better protect against airborne diseases, a group of experts said Thursday, drawing on hard-won lessons from the Covid pandemic.

07:45

Liverpool beat Man Utd to boost chances of Champions League return

MANCHESTER: Liverpool kept their chances of a place in next season's Champions League in their own hands with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday.

07:35