25 February 2020
This year’s Fasnacht (die drei scheenschte Dääg) starts on the 2nd of March at 04.00 a.m. with the Morgestraich at St. Martin’s Church. After exactly 72 hours, the Fasnacht will be over at 04.00 on Thursday morning on the 5th of March.
The Fasnacht in Basel is the largest of its kind in Switzerland and also unique in Europe and recognised by UNESCO as a world heritage event. On Monday the 2nd and Wednesday the 4th of March two cortèges will take place with more than 11.000 mostly beautifully costumed participants with piccolo’s, drums, sujets, floats and carriages.
It is a musical feast that has some similarities with the Carnival of Venice. Tuesday is dedicated to children, with concerts and lantern shows of the sujets in the evening. The Fasnacht can be compared to a musical living satirical magazine where all visual or rhetorical means, sujets, are used to mock the establishment and to highlight current topics.
The Schnitzelbänkler, a kind of comedians of the Fasnacht, perform in cafés, theatres and restaurants throughout the city. The participants are organised into associations, cliques. This year, about 460 have signed up, not to mention the informal groups.
The Coronavirus is maybe a little too topical. Still, the climate, energy, pollution, 5G technology, Brexit, Robotik, Gender issues and many local topics will be on show from 2 to the 5th of March. The organisation is in the hands of the Fasnacht’s committee (www.fasnachts-comite.ch).