Behind the Fasnacht Mask

Basel’s wonderful, crazy Fasnacht (carnival) celebration is just 2 weeks away, and the preparations are in full swing. The participating groups (Cliques) and bands (Guggemusik groups) are getting their costumes, masks, and instruments ready. In the evenings and on the weekends you can hear shrill Fasnacht music outside when the various groups rehearse their songs while marching through the woods and sparsely populated areas of town. Various pre-Fasnacht shows are already entertaining their audiences with piping, drumming, and sarcastic songs or presentations.

But who are the people who spend their time (and substantial amounts of money) on all these activities? A few years ago, Canadian expat Andrea Beck talked to Basler Marcel Braun, who is a member of one of Basel’s many Cliques, about his experiences with the Fasnacht and what it all entails.

Download her article below (originally published in Basel Life Magazine in March 2017) to learn more about the Basel Fasnacht and its protagonists. And when you are in town during the three days of Fasnacht, remember—you never know who is behind the mask!