Basel Carnival*

*Inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO

A jousting tournament from 1376 is documented as the oldest carnival event in Basel. Since then, Basel's carnival has changed constantly. In its current form, the "drei scheenschte Dääg (the tree nicest days)", as the carnival is called in Basel, have a great impact far beyond the city. On the Monday after Ash Wednesday, Basel residents and visitors gather at four in the morning. It is eerily quiet in the completely dark city center before the drum major gives the marching order "Morgenstreich vorwärts marsch" and the costumed drummers and piccolo players open the carnival with their playing. On Monday and Wednesday afternoon, around 12,000 costumed participants in large parades display countless subjects. Tuesday belongs to the children's masquerade and the “Guggenmusik”. A very special role at Basel Carnival is played by the hundred or so “Schnitzelbank” groups, who recite their illustrated mock verses in the restaurants and cellars.

Detailed description

Basler Fasnacht (PDF, 442 kB, 04.06.2018)Ausführliche Beschreibung


Oral expressions
Performing arts
Traditional craftsmanship




Basel drumming


Christine Burckhardt-Seebass et al. (Ed.): Zwischentöne. Fasnacht und städtische Gesellschaft in Basel, 1923 – 1998. Basel, 1998

Fasnachts-Comité (Ed.): Basler Fasnacht – vorwärts marsch! «Läse – lotse – luege!» (Multimedia-Box). Basel, 2009

Peter Habicht: pfyffe, ruesse, schränze. Eine Einführung in die Basler Fasnacht. Basel, 2004

Eugen A. Meier: Die Basler Fasnacht. Geschichte und Gegenwart einer lebendigen Tradition. Basel, 1985

Dominik Wunderlin (Ed.): Fasnacht, Fasent, Carnaval im Dreiland. Basel, 2005





Sekretariat Fasnachts-Comité

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