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Dos & Don‘ts

There aren't actually any official rules on how to behave during Basel Fasnacht, but locals attach importance to certain customs and recommendations. If you follow these, you'll soon feel like an insider.

Carnival (Fasnacht) in Basel

Three days when the city goes wild.

Morgenstreich

Morgenstreich

Huge crowds always turn out for the Basel Morgestraich. So you should go early to the city centre to secure a place by the roadside with a good view. Wear warm, comfortable clothing and leave bulky bags at home. Agree on fixed meeting points and times with your companions in case you get separated from them. Darkness is key at Morgestraich. So don't let off any fireworks and don't use a flash if you take photos.

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Costumes

Only active Fasnacht participants wear costumes. Don't paint your face or wear a fake nose or a silly hat – none of this goes down well at Basel Fasnacht. Children  are the only exception – even as spectators, they are allowed to dress up during the children's Fasnacht.

Kulinarik

Food & drink

It is tradition to eat Mehlsuppe (flour soup) for the first time after Morgenstreich. Other typical dishes include onion and cheese quiche. Already before Fasnacht, various shops sell Fasnachtkiechli (disk-shaped sweet crackers dusted with icing sugar) and Faschtewajie (pretzel-shaped pastry with caraway seeds). It's no longer possible to discern the customs and practices behind these dishes. But the people of Basel don't mind – they enjoy their flour soup with or without cheese just the same.

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Blaggedde (Fasnacht badge)

"Me het e Blaggedde" – you wear a badge. As this motto suggests, visitors as well as locals are advised to buy a Fasnacht badge and pin it on their lapels. It's almost a point of honour in fact, for the net proceeds from the sale of badges all go to the participating groups to help cover their costs. The badges come in copper, silver and gold. Or you can purchase the more expensive "Bijou", a smaller, but particularly elegant variant. The badges are sold by street vendors and costumed participants as well as at some newsstands and special sales stands.

Useful terms

Ändstraich  End of the three most beautiful days
Bebbi Inhabitant of Basel
Chaise Carriage
Clique Carnival Club
Cliquenkeller Practice room of the carnival club
Cortège Official move
Dääfeli Candy
Dääg  Day
Drey scheenschte The three most beautiful
Drummle Drum
Goschdym Carnival dress
Guggemuusig Carnival music group
Lampe oder Ladärne Lantern
Larve Mask
Morgestraich  Prelude to the Basel Carnival
Pfyffer Piccolo player
Räppli Confetti
Sauglattismus Pseudo fun
Schnitzelbängg Ironically sarcastic texts on current topics
Schränze Play Guggenmusik
Sujet Current topic or "motto" played out by a carnival club
Tambour Drum player
Vortrab Placemaker at the tip of a carnival train, note distributor
Waggis Traditional Basel carnival costume
Zeedel Note with satirical texts