February 27 – March 1, 2012
Easily the largest carnival in Switzerland, Basel Carnival completely takes over the city from 4am Monday until 4am Thursday, providing a thrilling time for locals and tourists alike.
This three-day extravaganza commences with the ‘Morgenstreich’. Taking place the Monday after Ash Wednesday, this procession of 200 illuminated canvas lanterns enthrals spectators as the sun slowly rises above the picturesque city center. The following days bring more colorful and vibrant processions of masked and costumed carnival participants, floats, horse-drawn carriages and the mischievous ‘Waggis’ character who distributes oranges, yellow mimosa, throws ‘Räppli’ (confetti) and invites spectators to become part of the show. The Basel Carnival is brought to a close by a cacophony of sound, as brass band musicians fill the streets to perform the ‘Gugge’ concert. The Basel Carnival is a truly unique experience and one that every elite traveler to this wonderful city should experience.