carnival in Basel

Basel Fasnacht 2016

Barbara Klein Basel, Events, exhibition 2 Comments

Sunday Before Fasnacht

Fasnacht always starts on Sunday with the legendary pasta party at home.

And each year we have the same discussion as to when we started this tradition, I think it must be close to 50 years!

traditional flower bouquet

The traditional yellow bouquet

The same procedure each year: sherry for pre lunch drinks, mache salad with celery (finely grated) and pasta with sugo Bolognese.

For dessert we serve the home made cookies called Schänggeli, (a typical fried cookie made before lent) and we all agree: this year they have turned out to be the best ever!

Toward the end of the afternoon we go into the town centre, far away the first sounds of piccolos are to be heard, accompanying the covered lanterns to their temporary location before Morgestraich.

Basel Fasnacht Sunday

“Piping in the lanterns” in the rain

We are prepared for a wet carnival und have our rain protection at the ready.


it will be a short night

It will be a short night




Indeed, it was a short night: I wake up at midnight and feel awfully sick: diarrhea and vomiting combined. Not to think of following the invitation to enjoy some Mehlsuppe (a broth made from flour and onions) at friends’.

I hardly manage to drag myself to Münsterplatz before 4 o’clock and follow our group with weak knees, carrying my mask.

Morgestraich on Rümelinplatz

Morgestraich on Rümelinplatz

But certainly I will feel better on Tuesday, no way: when I put on my costume, my sciatic nerve jams!

Make the best of it, maybe the pain will go away thanks to the pharmaceutical industry.

Fasnacht Tuesday


Tuesday at the river Rhine

Fasnacht Tuesday at the river Rhine

We are ever so lucky: the weather forecast predicted rain and snow but it stays dry although very cold and windy.


Basel Fasnacht Tuesday

“Gugge” musicians on Rheinsprung

The lanterns exhibition on Münsterplatz on Tuesday is an absolute must. It is the biggest open air exhibition in the world with over 200 lanterns depicting local and global topics (“sujet”) .


lantern exhibition on Münsterplatz
Lantern exhibition on Münsterplatz

I was deeply impressed this year with the many lanterns choosing political and historical topics, the art works convey the message: nothing has been learnt from history.


lanterns depicting topics

Biting black humour

lantern exhibition on Münsterplatz in the evening

The lit lanterns look impressive close to the cathedral

a group playing on Münsterplatz

A group of piccolo players and drummers in front of the medieval buildings on Münsterplatz


See you next year: Fasnacht will take place from March 6 – 8, 2017!

Comments 2

  1. Very true Barbara. We never learn from history, so we are doomed to repeat it I fear. I love the photos of the lanterns. What a wonderful tradition. Thank you for sharing,

    1. Post

      Hi Cathy, lovely to see you and thanks for your thoughtful comment. Unfortunately true, so sad.
      The art of lantern painting is really unique and fascinating to see them lit at night, how the colours are brilliantly brought forward.
      Today is the beginning of a new season: have a wonderful spring, Cathy!

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