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The traditional Sechseläuten parade (Zürich)
Apr 22 - Apr 25
Sechseläuten is a quintessential Zürich experience that should not be missed.
To outsiders, this spring festival is best described as a kind of Groundhog Day with camels, a parade of men in medieval costume on horseback, and a snowman with an explosive head.
Sunday traditionally marks the Sechseläuten children's parade.
The guilds of Zürich have a children's costume rental service. Online registrations usually open a couple of months before Sechseläuten in late February. The participation fee for walking with the parade also includes a Zvieri snack.
And Sechseläuten Monday is a city wide holiday.
Most workers are off after 2 PM for the Sechseläuten parade. The "Parade of Guilds" features up to 3500 men and women in traditional costumes, as well as the before-mentioned camels and horses.
At 6 PM sharp, the bonfire topped by a snowman will be lit on fire and the count is on: How long will it take for the head to explode? The shorter, the better the expected weather conditions for summer.
After the guilds have completed the traditional part of the festival, the locals will meet up at the bonfire in front of the opera house for a down-to-earth tradition: The "common people" of Zürich will BBQ sausages in the gigantic fire and have a drink.