The Do’s and Don’ts of Fasnacht
Fasnacht is almost upon us—the wonderful, unique, colorful, and loud 3-day carnival that many Baslers consider the most important event of the year! It will be the first unrestricted Fasnacht since 2019 and will likely be exploding with four years of pent-up Fasnacht energy.
If you want to make the most of your Fasnacht experience, start out with a trip to Liestal on Sunday evening to witness their fiery “Chienbäse” parade (https://www.basellife.com/event/liestals-fiery-chienbase-parade/). It is certainly one of the most unique traditions and you need to see it to believe it!
Then, a few short hours later, drag yourself out of bed in the wee hours of Monday morning to be in town for the beginning of Fasnacht when the clock strikes 4:00 (https://www.basellife.com/event/basler-fasnacht-morgenstreich). Also, be sure to watch the main parade at least once on Monday or Wednesday afternoon. If you have kids, dress them up on Tuesday afternoon and head to town for the somewhat “tamer” children’s parade. A stroll through the inner city on Tuesday night is a must, to experience the concerts and lantern exhibit and bask in the most interesting of atmospheres.
However you choose to get the most out of Fasnacht, there are some definitive Do’s and Don’ts you should follow:
- Total darkness is required for Morgenstreich, so don’t light fireworks or open your curtains if you live in the city. Also, don’t use flash photography as it blinds those marching in the procession.
- Large events always tend to attract pickpockets; therefore, leave wallets, handbags, and valuable items at home and only take what you really need.
- Hold and watch your children carefully, especially during the parades around the “Waggis” wagons where candy and other goodies are given out. Agree in advance on a specific meeting place with your kids, in case you lose one another.
- Consider prearranging specific meeting times and places with your friends as you simply cannot hear your mobile phone or any conversation over the incredible noise level.
- Support Fasnacht by buying a carnival badge (“Blagedde”) and make sure it is well displayed.
- The participants’ masks and instruments restrict their mobility and ability to see, so make a point of not getting in their way.
- Let participants go first in restaurants and restrooms, as they have set times that they need to be back on their route.
- Participants need to leave drums and masks outside of restaurants; they should be admired, not touched!
- For spectators, painted faces, costumes, singing of bawdy songs, or displaying drunken behavior is highly frowned upon. However, children are free to dress up on Tuesday afternoon for the “Kinderfasnacht” (children’s Fasnacht).
- Do not throw any confetti at masked participants and do not pick up any off the street.
- Do not throw oranges or other objects back to the participants or into the crowds.
Respect the local traditions—and HAVE FUN!Share