""Basler Fasnacht" - The annual carnival" Basel Things to Do Tip by smithpaulf
Basel Things to Do: 203 reviews and 337 photos
Many cities in Germany and Switzerland have a carnival, but the Basel carnival - "Fasnacht" is something really special. The carnival takes place over 3 days and nights, usually in late February or early March. The costumes are AMAZING. All the participants where full face masks and costumes, and there is a friendly rivalry between the different "cliques". The predominant instruments are piccalos and drums. It's definitely party time for the locals, but it's not an excuse for drunken excesses. There's a code and etiquette to the way things are done (see http://www.fasnacht.ch/?pm_1=21&pm_2=36&mid=36)
The atmosphere is amazing, particularly at the start of the carnival on "Morgenstreich" which takes place at 4 a.m. on Monday, the first day of the carnival. All the street lights in the city are turned off, and the only light is from the lanterns carried by the participants. What amazed me was just how many people are actively involved. It's a fantastic atmosphere, with groups large and small wandering the city streets and tiny back lanes in the old city streets. Everyone should experience the Basler Fasnacht once in their lives!
Directions: Everywhere in Basel over 3 days Monday - Wednesday. Date varies depending on Easter. 2004 is 1 - 3 March.
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