Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Loading Events
  • This event has passed.

Basel Carnival (Fasnacht), Switzerland, 2022

March 7 - March 9

Basel Carnival

The Basel Carnival is part of the city’s cultural identity. For three days the city goes wild. The largest carnival in Switzerland, it was added to the UNESCO intangible cultural heritage list in 2017. 

“Dame Fasnacht” – as the people of Basel call their festival – combines musical, spectacle and masks, with stories conveyed in typical Basel manner – with biting humour.

The carnival starts at 4am on the Monday after Ash Wednesday in total darkness. The city bursts into light with hand-painted lanterns and thousands of costumed pipers and drummers for Morgestraich. It then continues until Ändstraich on the following Thursday, again at 4am. They are early birds in these parts.

When is the Basel Carnival 2022?

In 2022 it will be held from 7 to 9 March.

Basel Carnival

History of the Basel Carnival

The Carnival in Basel is mentioned as far back as 1376. The Basel Fasnacht has roots in ancient Celtic and Germanic practices, and announces the expulsion of winter. Later, it included medieval jousts, and became a religious festival. During the Reformation the Basel Fasnacht became a display of resistance against the city’s austere authorities.

In the 19th Century, the first cliques were formed, piping and drumming gradually appeared, and the Schnitzelbank singers made satirical entrance. The first official Morgenstreich in 1835 and the first large procession lantern 25 years later.

The Fasnacht of today was formed in the latter half of the 20th century, with more cliques, while the quality of both piping and drumming went up a notch, and the costumes and head-masks (Larve) became typically Basel.

Carnival of Basel Programme

Unfortunately the cortège, which usually occurs on the Monday and Wednesday of the Carnival has been cancelled in 2022.

However, other elements remain, and the 2022 Basel Carnival schedule is: Morgenstreich (7 March); Guggenkonzert (8 March); Schnitzelbanks (7 to 9 March); and Endstreich (10 March).

Traditional Carnival Costumes

The carnival costumes (Goschdym) are largely based on Italy’s Commedia dell’Arte, but others adpt a more local tone, including: Waggis, a labourer; Dummpeter (Stupid Peter); Ueli (court jester); and Alti Dante (old dame).


More information on the Carnival of Basel

Visit the official This Is Basel website. All images supplied by Basel Tourismus.


Advertisement

Details

Start:
March 7
End:
March 9
Event Categories:
, ,
Topics:
,
Website:
https://www.basel.com/en/events/carnival

Venue

St Martin’s Church
Martinskirche, Martinskirchplatz
Basel,4001Switzerland
+ Google Map
Advertisement
Let the adventure begin.