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Swiss snowman predicts hot summer ahead

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Swiss snowman predicts hot summer ahead
Photo: Zürich Tourism/Adrian Seitz
09:03 CEST+02:00
Switzerland is set for a lovely summer if a Zurich tradition is to be believed.
Yesterday the city's Sechseläuten festival culminated in the traditional burning of the Böögg, a giant snowman packed with firecrackers and burnt at the stake to symbolize the end of winter. 
 
According to folklore, the quicker the Böögg's head explodes, the better weather it will be over the summer ahead. 
 
This year the Böögg took nine minutes and 56 seconds to explode, a fairly quick time forecasting a hot summer. 
 
 
The shortest ever time was in 2003 when the Böögg exploded in just five minutes 42 seconds – and Switzerland went on to have an extremely hot summer, one of the hottest on record in fact.
 
However the Böögg isn't always correct. Last year during a rainy Sechseläuten the Böögg took 43 minutes and 34 seconds to explode, the longest time on record. But instead of ushering in a miserable summer, it was actually quite hot and dry.
 
 
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