Carnival is a very old tradition in many countries and takes different names and forms, depending on history, culture and language. In Switzerland it takes the name of”Fasnacht” and differs deeply from town to town. The only common denominator is having fun!
Yesterday night we went to Baden’s Fasnacht Night: the town looked completely changed, with decorations and people dancing and having fun in the streets.
It all started at 7 PM when many different groups of musicians – all dressed with costumes and with their faces painted – began marching and playing music in the streets. Stages were built everywhere and the music literally invaded the city.
Every now and then, you could recognize some old classic or famous contemporary tunes: execution was really good and we enjoyed ourselves a lot. The groups continued to move from one stage to the other all night and we continued to follow and dance around.
Some groups had also small colorful cafè and pubs-caravans, with decorations, which sold refreshments and hot beverages.
Many people also wore costumes: some had simply strange hats or props, others wore beautifully complicated costumes. Certainly many fully embraced Fasnacht’s spirit scaring the dark and evil ghosts away. Others favored a tender approach (like a group of guys dressed like Care Bears).
What impressed me the most is that differently from other places where Carnival is just for kinds, in Switzerland people of all ages and social status participated.
Now I look forward to next week’s Basel Fasnacht: they say the city goes completely mad. I can’t wait to see that!