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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Ändstraich||End of the three most beautiful days|
|Bebbi||Inhabitant of Basel|
|Cliquenkeller||Practice room of the carnival club|
|Drey scheenschte||The three most beautiful|
|Guggemuusig||Carnival music group|
|Lampe oder Ladärne||Lantern|
|Morgestraich||Prelude to the Basel Carnival|
|Schnitzelbängg||Ironically sarcastic texts on current topics|
|Sujet||Current topic or "motto" played out by a carnival club|
|Vortrab||Placemaker at the tip of a carnival train, note distributor|
|Waggis||Traditional Basel carnival costume|
|Zeedel||Note with satirical texts|