Monday Böögg Preparations
Monday morning 7 am on the dot, Lukas Meier and I happen to come onto Bellevue square at the same time. We shake hands on this chilly morning and I admire his green guild uniform including hat and sword in which he is going to set up the Sechseläuten Böögg. I’m glad I’m wearing my Canadian parka. It is sunny, and very chilly.
As the sun slowly makes an appearance from behind tall houses, the busy traffic flows around us and citizens on their way to work take a moment to watch, Lukas Meier assembles the Böögg. His children are excused for a late start in school this morning and are proud to be called in to lend a hand here and there. Meanwhile, employees of Zürich City Works expertly construct the bonfire. Close to six thousand bundles of wood are delivered in several truckloads onto the closed-off square. Collected this winter from public tree prunings and neatly assembled and bound into units by 1,400 students around the city, the bundles are quite heavy as I find out giving a hand in the supply-line.
Swift, well organized and cheerful, the workers make an efficient team, building the bonfire in a pattern that looks like a work of art. Still, it takes six hours to take the wood up to the Böögg which stoically smokes his pipe ten meters up in the warming blue sky. True to his trade, a kämbler guilders comes by and offers dates to the crew.