I'm taking you on an excursion to Switzerland. This weekend it was Sächsilüüte in Zürich. As a kid I used to take part in the children's parade. This year it was my niece's first time! I must say this is the one event I really regret not having been there, but ai know that there will be more Sächsilüüte to come.
First some pictures.
My first Sächsilüüte together with my sister and my cousin. I was probably four years old, my sister six years:
Some more info (shamelessly taken from Wikipedia and twisted to my liking...):
The Sechseläuten (Zürich German: Sächsilüüte) is a traditional spring holiday in the Swiss city of Zürich celebrated in its current form, on the 3rd Monday of April, since the early 20th century.
Following the parade of the 'Zünfte' (guilds), the climax of the holiday is the burning of Winter in effigy, in the form of the Böögg, a figure of a snowman prepared with explosives. 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. This year it took 12 minutes and 07 seconds, so we should have a faily warm summer!
In addition the Sechseläuten also include a children's parade in historic and folkloristic costumes on Sunday and the official very colorful afternoon parade of the 26 guilds in their historic dress costumes, each with its own band, most with a sizable mounted 'Reitergruppe', and horse drawn floats, to the 'Sechseläutenplatz' at the lakeshore where the Böögg is burnt. And while the pyre is on fire a ceremonial galloping of the mounted units of the guilds around the bonfire takes place.