Fasnacht – Carnaval – Carnival in Basel

Here is one of the most exciting time of the year with the great Carnival Parade all across the country. It lasts exactly 3 days, from Monday morning to Thursday. the best way to enjoy the party is to wander around the lively streets of the city and go will he flow.

If you want to enjoy the Carnival organized in Zueri – it will be held from the 20th to the 22nd February 2015. You will find all the useful information on this page.

However, despite my love for Zueri, I must confess that the most impressive and very typical in undoubtedly the Basel Carnival (23th February) 

The three-day event traditionally kicks off with an early morning procession, the Morgenstreich, which starts at 4 a.m. on Monday morning.

The Morgenstreich Procession

This is a procession of about 200 illuminated canvass lanterns decorated with paintings and rhymes that make fun of a particular «subject» – a local event from the past year.
After the city’s streetlights are switched off, these lanterns are paraded through the darkened streets, accompanied by the cliques with their drummers and piccolo players.
Bars and restaurants serve the three dishes traditionally associated with Fasnacht: Mehlsuppe (a hearty broth made from flour and onion), and onion and cheese pies.
Basler Fasnacht 2014 Morgestraich
The Two processions

There are two main processions, starting at 1.30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday.

More than 10,000 masked carnival members parade along a set route through the city centre displaying their «sujets» or special carnival topics, accompanied by the sound of drums, piccolos and «Gugge» music.
The Lantern exhib ! 

The exhibition of lanterns is the world’s largest temporary open-air art exhibition and the highlight of Tuesday evening.

Over 200 lanterns caricaturing numerous – mostly local – topics, («sujets») with cartoons and verses catch the spectator’s eye during the Morgenstreich and the main parades on the two main processions of Monday and Wednesday afternoon.
But on Monday evening all the lanterns are transported to Münsterplatz in front of the cathedral, where they are displayed until Wednesday morning.
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Do and Don’t Tips (extract from the Carnival Committee website)


  • Make sure you arrive in good time. By 4 a.m. there’s quite a crowd.
  • Leave handbags and valuable items at home,
  • Do not link arms with your friends to form a chain.
  • For the most important requirement is total darkness, do not open curtains or light fireworks, do not use flash photography.

General points:

  • Make sure your carnival badge is prominently displayed.
  • Unlike other carnival events, painted faces, false noses, jester’s caps, bawdy songs, raucous or drunken behaviour are all frowned upon.
  • The participants’ masks, instruments and other carnival paraphernalia restrict their mobility. So please make a point of not getting in their way. Let them go first – especially when they go for their well-earned breaks in restaurants.
  • Do not throw oranges or other objects back at the participants or into the crowds.
  • Do not pick up confetti (“Räppli” in Basel dialect) from the street.
  • Drums and other accessories are valuable items and personal property, not souvenirs to take home.


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