Photo_Week_20130215_Fasnacht_Feb_2012This year Basel will celebrate Fasnacht on Monday, February 15 through Wednesday, February 17, 2016.  The event always takes place the week after Ash Wednesday and for exactly 72 hours, Basel lets her hair down and embraces Fasnacht aka carnival. The theme for 2016 is, “Mer mache dicht.”


With a rich mix of non-stop, crazy parties, fueled by local happenings, and floats that are so intricately crafted and well – made, onlookers cannot help but partake in the madness of it all. With the official opening of Fasnacht taking place with Morganstreich at 4:00 a.m. on Monday, February 15, the fun and good times get underway, as the lights of the city are shut off the cliques march with lanterns through the city streets!


With candy, roses, and oranges lining the streets, confetti so deep on the ground you will still find remnants of this three– day party for months to come. The piccolos and drums will ring in your ears and the smiles will dance across your face just long enough to keep your warm throughout the winter months.


If this is your first time celebrating Fasnacht enjoy this memorable event, but please remember to keep your children close by, as the floats (Wagen) are dangerous for little people. Oh, and if you didn’t purchase your carnival badge (Plakette) and have it visible prepare to be bombarded by confetti.  If you have the time and interest, consider visiting a Cliquenkeller, which is nice atmosphere to have a drink and helps support the local cliques.


Dates to Remember:

Morganstreich 4:00 a.m. Monday, February 15

Lantern Exhibition –Monday night – Wednesday morning, the lanterns will be on display at Münsterplatz. The lanterns are lit in the evenings.

Exhibition of Floats – Monday through Wednesday – Kaserneareal in Kleinbasel to view the floats up close

Gugge Concerts – Tuesday evening from 19:30 – 23:00 in Marktplatz, Barfüsserplatz and Claraplatz

Children’s Day – Tuesday is dedicated to the children – dress your children in their best costumes and roam the streets gathering oranges, and sweet treats from the floats, but please use caution when approaching the wagons with small children!  Wagons cannot see small children.  Please keep your children within arms reach! A great place to watch the parade, without getting trapped in the maddening crowds is near the Kunstmuseum.

Tips –The best way to travel to Basel for Fasnacht is not by car, but rather by train. If you reside in the city, consider walking to the event, as opposed to taking trams or buses. Walking the city is a great way to discover little Fasnacht gems along the way.  Trams and buses are re-routed  during carnival.

Watch your children.  We have said this before, but it is easy to lose a little one in the crowds.  Also, the wagons are huge and often times do not have clear visibility.  Keep your children at arms reach.

Purchase a carnival badge (plakette) to help support the cliques at many public spaces in and around the city. The Banhoff always has plakettes for sale.

Bring your camera – the colors, the confetti, the cliques all make for beautifully vivid images that you will want to capture.


For more information on Fasnacht, please visit the following website:


2 thoughts on “Fasnacht Fever – February 15 – 17, 2016

    1. First of all, good for you for hiking with children! We just discussed your question and think Neuchatel would be a great home base for you. Located in the French speaking section of Switzerland, the area is picturesque and a gateway to some great trails. All the best with your adventure and please let us know how you enjoyed your journey. Here is some other info on a Hike we did there, and some local links as well.

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