Every year Fasnacht starts with an early morning parade, the Morgestraich, which starts at 4 a.m. on Monday morning. Morgestraich is a very special event that visitors should not miss.

At the stroke of 4am on Monday morning, all the lights in the city are switched off and about 200 cliques, located all over Basel city centre, start playing the same march together with their drummers and piccolo players. The cliques parade around Basel in the darkness.

Each clique carries a very large illuminated canvas lantern, decorated with paintings and rhymes that make fun of a particular «subject» - a local event from the past year. Each of the drummers and piccolo players have a small lantern above their mask as they parade through the darkened city streets together until daylight breaks.

It is with this magnificent spectacle that the carnival begins.  Visitors to Morgestraich should make sure to arrive early to find good place to watch along the parade route, well before 4am. The bars and restaurants serve the three dishes traditionally associated with Fasnacht: Mehlsuppe (a hearty broth made from flour and onion), and onion and cheese pies.

The next Morgestraich takes place on 6th March 2017.