Wednesday, 8 February 2017

It's almost Fasnacht - time to party!

@SallyAnnEgerton (
There are a few shady looking characters popping up in windows and odd places around Winterthur. Manor has gone to town with half a floor devoted to fancy dress, wigs and oversized glasses. It can only mean one thing - the imminent arrival of Fasnacht.

The Swiss love their traditions and carnivals - and most of all they love dressing up and role playing. And this all comes together nowhere better than at Fasnacht. It is such great fun, the outfits are incredible - and sometimes rather scary - and all spectators are encouraged to dress up too.

Many of the characters in the parade are mischevious, throwing confetti over people, stealing accessories out of their hair and I have even seen a few teenagers picked up, slung over a shoulder and buried in a wagon of confetti! It is all great fun – everyone has a ball and my girls absolutely love it. Best of all, it is my eldest daughter’s birthday at the end of February so it always feels like an extension of her own celebration.

Fasnacht officially begins in Winterthur with the Ham feast, kicking off a week long period of different, and sometimes rather surreal, events - including a three day and night party for those who can still party big time! But the highlight for us is the large carnival which takes place through the city centre from 2.15pm on Sunday, 5th March. For more information and all other events surrounding Fasnacht in Winterthur, visit the website here.

And then of course if you can brave the crowds there is the mother of all Fasnacht carnivals in Basel, hailed as one of Europe's top 50 local festivals, taking place on the Monday after Ash Wednesday: Baseler Fasnacht.

(I've been having fun painting our favourite Fasnacht characters - I hope you enjoy them :)


  1. We are looking to our annual celebration this weekend - although someone from Bern told me they don't celebrate it there and that it's a Catholic tradition. Not sure about that...

  2. I must agree with Rachael - here around Bern the Fasnacht is not celebrated. Even if you can get all decorations for carnival in Migros, but there are no masks-parades in the streets like in e.g. Basel etc. :(