Carnival in Basel, Switzerland is a local carnival on a grand scale It is also a Swiss spectacle, on a par with cow parades and cheese by the ton.
For exactly three days, beginning at 4:00 am on Monday and ending at 4:00 am on the dot on Thursday, the people of Basel make noise, wear silly and sometimes dramatic costumes. Thousands of them march to the rhythm of drums and the shrill piping of piccolos, and the slightly off-key "melodies" of brass bands. Besides daily parades, there are lantern displays, food and beverage tents, and skits in decorated party cellars beneath Basel's Old Town.
Fasnacht here is an insider's event. It helps to have someone from Basel along to tell you what's what, and to translate the commentary--often political and satirical, always topical.
With or without a guide, you'll want to know what spectators should--and should not--do, to ensure that your first Fasnacht is memorable, unique and happy.