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The Böögg

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#1 Khundekling


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Posted 19 February 2019 - 06:01 PM

No it's not the Cybernetic Humanoids from Star Trek or a Wetland that you might get your Welly stuck in! The Böögg is a Snowman ... that is set on fire and has its head blown up!!!



I was having one of my random day dreams and got to wondering if Snowmen had pagan origins? If the snow effigy came about from an old winter custom? Well, from what I found the answer is no. Just humans making images of themselves. Although it would appear that in the past, snowmen were a target for peoples aggression. Children would make them and then throw stones at them. There are also other examples of similar events. Perhaps mimicking the public stocks and executions as a form of entertainment?


Anyway.. in my search for answers, I came across the Böögg. The Böögg is part of the Swiss Sechseläuten festival that takes place in Zurich, where at the end of the winter/beginning of spring a large paper snowman whose head is filled with fireworks is set on fire. Like a winter sacrifice. The time from when the fire is lit to the explosion of the fireworks, is supposed to predict how good the summer will be. A short time indicates warm & sunny, a long time indicates cold and wet. It doesn't seem to be very accurate though, still.. great excuse for a party! 

It would seem the name Böögg is linked to the "Bogeyman" and started out as an effigy a bit like a scarecrow that children would drag through the streets and set on fire. The Böögg and Sechseläuten were separate events, as Sechseläuten is a celebration of the clocks changing from winter to summertime and workers getting more free time in daylight hours. As the children were holding their own little celebration the two merged and over the years their Böögg became the main event.



Now, I've gone on a bit of a "down the rabbit hole" trip and this is just me joining dots, that probably aren't there. So what I'm about to say is purely theoretical.



That being said, The Böögg or Bogeyman is a character that is spoken of to children, in many different countries and cultures, to keep them from misbehaving. In Russia this bogeyman is called Baba Yaga, who is described as a witch. So what if the bogeyman in other countries originated from stories of a witch. There are certainly other tales of witches taking badly behaved children into the woods etc.

As already mentioned, in the past building a snowman was usually performed by children and then made a target of hatred. Were those snowmen also Bogeyman/Witch effigies? It would not surprise me in the slightest that children were taught to fear witches from their Christian parents and those snow witches were a way of them confronting those fears. Perhaps this is why a snowman in often accessorised with a Broom?!


Like I said, it's just a theory, but I for one will never look at a Snowman the same way again.

Edited by Khundekling, 21 February 2019 - 09:35 AM.

life is better with a biscuit