Pandemic drives traditional burning of Swiss snowman into Alps

The Boeoegg, a snowman made of wadding and filled with firecrackers, burns in a bonfire on the landmark of Devil's Bridge in the Schoellenen Gorge near the Alpine resort of Andermatt, Switzerland April 19, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ANDERMATT, Switzerland (Reuters) - The coronavirus pandemic saw a traditional Swiss annual rite of spring, the burning of the Boeoegg snowman, moved to the remote Devil's Bridge in central Switzerland on Monday to deter crowds, the first time it has taken place outside Zurich.

Made of wadding and filled with firecrackers, the Boeoegg's fiery end is supposed to signal how much longer winter will last. The faster its head explodes, the sooner spring will arrive.

With spectators not allowed, a television broadcast showed the decapitation took almost 13 minutes this year - below the average time.

Officials in Zurich, Switzerland's financial capital, cancelled the event for the second year in a row to prevent crowds from gathering.

It moved this year to the remote Devil's Bridge near the Gotthard Pass in Uri canton in the Alps, which legend has it the Devil agreed to build in return for the first soul to cross it, only to be outwitted by locals who sent a billy goat across first.

(Reporting by Arnd Wiegmann, Writing by Michael Shields; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In World

Australia's New South Wales reports zero COVID-19 cases, fears remain over missing link
Olympics: Poll shows 60% of Japanese want Games cancelled
U.S. expresses 'serious concerns' about Jerusalem clashes, evictions of Palestinians
David Attenborough named COP26 People’s Advocate ahead of key climate summit
Six killed at southern Nigerian police station - spokesman
Afghan Taliban declares three-day ceasefire for Eid celebration this week -spokesman
Algeria to impose restrictions on street protests
Italian judge killed by Mafia is put on road to sainthood
Explainer-Jerusalem tense over evictions and holidays
Siberian doctor who treated Kremlin critic Navalny goes missing, police say

Stories You'll Enjoy