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Basel will celebrate Fasnacht on Monday, March 6 at 4:00 am with Morgenstreich through Wednesday, March 8, 2017.  And this year, we as a family might just participate in Morgenstreich, as our children have never witnessed the magic of a dark city while Piccolos and drums fill the streets with their remarkable sounds. Nor have they ever witnessed the soft glow of the lights that fill the city as Fasnacht quietly gets underway.

What is Fasnacht you might ask? Fasnacht always takes place the week after Ash Wednesday and for exactly 72 hours, Basel lets her hair down and embraces Fasnacht a.k.a. carnival, where the people relax, parties are everywhere and floats and noise line the city streets.

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What you need to know to celebrate Faschnact in Basel.

Morgenstreich starts at 4:00a.m, yes, that is right, that is not a typo. The start of Fasnacht is early, dark and memorable. You will wake in the pre-dawn light, where the streets in Basel will be packed with people, noise and processions from Fasnacht cliques.

The official parade will take place on Monday and on Wednesday and will start at 13:30. The masked participants will take to the streets of Basel playing drums, piccolos and tossing confetti, roses and confetti from their wagons to the enthusiastic onlookers. The streets will be covered in colorful confetti and sweeties.

2012-02-28-fshnk_117Lantern Exhibit – All of the beautifully created lanterns will be on display on Münsterplatz on Monday evening through Wednesday morning. For those who have never seen this, it is worth a trip to take in these lovely pieces of artwork.

Carnival of the Children – Tuesday is always dedicated to the children. Dress up your children in costumes, give them a sack to carry for collecting sweets, oranges and flowers and take them to the streets. Please keep a close watch on your children, as the wagons are not able to see small people and can be very dangerous.

Practical Advice

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. Trams are on special routes during carnival.

Purchase a carnival badge or Plakette at many public spaces in and around the city. The Banhoff always has

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

Watch your children!  Though stated before, safety at Fasnacht is key. With thousands of people, 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.

Have fun!

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