Fasnacht 2016, Part 3

Part 1 covered G’s participation in a children’s parade with her preschool. Part 2 was about Birsfelden’s Fasnacht. Part 3 is about Basel’s Fasnacht and it’s going to be a doozy.

Prior to the festivities, it’s important to buy your Plakette. Andy and I both got silver Plaketten and we got a copper one for G.

I think you’re supposed to wear them on your coat, but I have a down coat that loses enough feathers on its own; it doesn’t need any extra holes to aid in that process. So I wear it on the strap of my bag, across my chest.

I went shopping to get Andy some beers for Valentine’s Day (something besides the Feldschlösschen he usually drinks) and found some festive Fasnacht beer by another Swiss brewer.

Fasnacht kicks off with Morgenstreich (or Morgestraich in Basler Deutsch) at 4 AM on Monday morning. I so didn’t go last year, but I was a little curious about the whole thing and my friend Donald said he would meet up with me if I wanted to go.

So… against my better judgement (my better judgement always chooses sleep, but I go against it a lot), I set my alarm for 2:30 AM.

Screenshot 2016-04-16 at 12.55.49 PM

The time difference worked to my advantage as people back home in the US were actually awake to have a conversation with me.

The city lights cut out at exactly 4 AM and the drums and fifes start playing as soon as it gets dark. It was so crowded and the air smelled like a very specific combination of beer, Red Bull (or the generic “OK-” equivalent), and pot.

I found a very cool time-lapse video of the 2016 Morgenstreich, but I also have some pictures and video of my own.

Since it was so dark and the lanterns weren’t actually that bright, my phone kept taking pictures and video that looked like they were in B&W, which I thought was kind of interesting.

While the procession has a very definitive beginning, I don’t think there’s a specific end. Donald and I stayed until some of the large lanterns started parking, waiting for the parade later in the day. Then we headed to Starbucks. He went straight into the office and I went home, hoping for some more sleep.

Andy had a half-day at work to allow him to celebrate Fasnacht like a proper Basler, so G and I met up with him and we headed to the Cortege.




The Lion King was very present at Fasnacht this year, with these costumes and two lanterns paying tribute.


Who doesn’t love a marching Mayonnaise, Ketchup, and Mustard?


It’s a good thing they warned us about the confetti, because otherwise I would’ve had no idea.



This made me intensely uncomfortable.

This did, too, but in a different way. Not-so-nice to know how our neighbors across the Birs see us.

Screenshot 2016-04-16 at 12.58.40 PM

But I guess I should be used to it.

Tuesday is the children’s parade. Some groups are actually organized, but you can also pretty much just wander the streets, which is what G and I did until we met up with Andy for dinner.

We had two bags of confetti for G to throw, in addition to her candy that she chose to give out to kids along the way. G had also made some confetti at preschool, which was adorable. I wanted to save it, but she insisted on throwing it. Hopefully no one was too offended that she threw multi-colored confetti; that’s a big no-no at Basel Fasnacht.


I did take a picture for posterity before I let her throw it.

After dinner, we headed to the lantern exhibit. Andy and G only stayed to look at a few lanterns, but I walked around and got pictures of almost all of them.

On Wednesday, Andy had another half-day at work and we had plans to meet up with friends in town.

Screenshot 2016-04-16 at 12.58.59 PM

She’s still cute, even when she’s over-tired and over-confetti’d.


Gotta love a good Wickelfisch costume.

(In case you want more information about Wickelfisch or even to buy one.)


I thought this was just a cute float with Alps, sheep, and a wolf on it. Then I noticed the SVP poster (lower-right corner).

The SVP, or Swiss People’s Party, basically hates everyone. Der Ausländer definitely need to GTFO, as far as the SVP are concerned. They illustrate this sentiment at election time with cute posters of white sheep kicking out a black sheep. Charming.


I have never seen anyone get confetti’d as bad as this girl got confetti’d.

It was pretty chilly and the floats and lanterns are all the same ones we saw on Monday and Tuesday evening, so we decided to head home fairly early.

And so ended another Fasnacht. (For us. Actual Fasnacht didn’t end until 4 AM on Thursday.)

Screenshot 2016-06-20 at 1.37.25 PM

Except, in a way, Fasnacht is never really over.

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