Do you wanna burn a snowman?
Monday, April 13th is Sechseläuten, a Swiss holiday celebrating the end of winter.
Held in Zurich, the festivities begin with a parade through town which ends in the town square. There, a huge bonfire is prepared, topped with Old Man Winter himself–in this case, a figure of a snowman with a head full of fireworks known as the Böögg.
At precisely 6:00 in the evening, as the church bells begin to toll, the bonfire under the Böögg is lit, and the locals wait anxiously to see how quickly the Böögg’s head will explode. A quick explosion means a warm, sunny summer, but a slow burn means uncharacteristic cold.
So, assuming that your neighborhood would frown on exploding snowmen in your front yard, how can you celebrate this delightful holiday? Our solution is to just . . . scale things down a bit.
Our Böögg is made of an old white sock, and he meets his fiery demise on the charcoal grill. If you have a firepit, that would be even more authentic. We do cut out the whole fireworks-stuffed-head part, much to my kids’ disappointment.
Making the Böögg is simple and fun. Just gather some of those socks that have lost their mate in the Dryer Vortex and let the kids see what accessories they can come up with out of scraps of fabric and paper. Stuff him with shredded paper, cotton balls, whatever you have lying around that will burn.
When the time comes (6:00 to be authentic, or whatever works), let your kids set their creation alight and cheer the demise of winter.
Is this snowman sacrifice a little too traumatic for your kids? (or for you?) Did they decide they can’t bear to burn their new friend? Another option is to create snowmen out of marshmallows. I have yet to find a kid who will weep for the loss of a snowman who is destined to become a s’more.
If you build your snowman on a kabob skewer that has been soaked in water overnight, you’ll have time to roast him pretty thoroughly before the stick starts to smoke.
Want more? Check out the Highchair Travelers Pinterest page for recipes, crafts and more.