After posting our blog on the Swiss festival ‘Sechselauten’ we have had many emails recommending other brilliant events. One of which is the carnival of Basel. The festival is an annual event that takes place between February and mid March (it starts on the Monday after Ash Wednesday) in Basel, Switzerland. This carnival has been listed as one of the top fifty local festivities in Europe so it is well worth a visit if you can!
The local people of Basel describe their carnival as the three most beautiful days of the year “drey scheenschte Dääg”. The carnival starts at 4am on the Monday morning and finishes at 4am on Thursday morning.
The“Morgenstreich” or morning parade takes place on Monday. Around 200 lanterns accompany the groups with their piccolos and drums through the darkened city centre. The lanterns show the so-called “Sujets” – events that have caused a stir in Basel over the last year – in a satirical form. In the restaurants, you can enjoy the traditional flour soup (gruel) and open onion and cheese pies.
Around 18,000 participants dress up in a variety of costumes, including a mask known as a “Larve”. Everyone involved remains incognito throughout the festivities and it is considered as inappropriate to reveal your identity throughout the carnival.
The parades taking place on Monday and Wednesday afternoon are called Cortège and follow two defined ring routes: the inner ring runs clockwise, and the outer ring runs anticlockwise. Those who participate in the parade generally throw confetti and sweets to the spectators.
There is music, food and lots of parades to see. It sounds like a truly colourful and exciting event. Let us know if you have been to any other festivals or carnivals that you would like to recommend!
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