Fasnacht lasts exactly three days, starting with Morgestraich at exactly 4.00 a.m. on Monday morning and continuing until exactly 4.00 a.m. on the following Thursday morning.
Fasnacht always takes place in the week after Ash Wednesday, and most of the action is concentrated in the city centre.

Fasnacht is like one big family party for the whole of Basel, although guests are obviously more than welcome. It has to be said that our Fasnacht, whose origins are deeply rooted in local tradition, does not give visitors much of an opportunity for active participation in the proceedings.  While there are bound to be many things you simply will not understand: such as our Basel dialect; the things we make fun of (usually local events and personalities); and our own special brand of humour with its strong irony, there is still much for visitors to experience.

At the carnival you will be fascinated by the incredible party atmosphere, the vivid colours of the costumes, the stirring tunes of the drummers and piccolo players, and the weird and wonderful «Gugge» music played by the brass bands. Many visitors and locals simply enjoy the experience of wandering around the city's lively streets, alleys, bars and restaurants, absorbing the unique mixture of celebration and melancholia, and the haunting enactment of the mediaeval rituals: the dance of death (Totentanz) and the masquerade (Mummenschanz).

The best way to enjoy things is to go with the flow and simply wander around the streets. 
And a final tip: don't take our humour too seriously!

2018 19th February
2019 11th March
2020 02nd March