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Basel fasnacht 2013 - any advice?

SteveMansfield 07 Jan 13 - 03:54 PM
Marc Bernier 07 Jan 13 - 09:36 PM
SteveMansfield 08 Jan 13 - 08:49 AM
Marc Bernier 09 Jan 13 - 04:54 PM
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Subject: Basel fasnacht 2013 - any advice?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 03:54 PM

The good lady Mansfield and myself are off to Basel in February for their Fasnacht, the 'three most beautiful days' of the carnival which is, apart from anything else (and certainly one of my main reason for going), a fife geek's heaven.

This will be my first visit so any tips from people who've been before?

I know the obvious ones (don't dress up yourself, don't take photos with flash, buy a blaquette and wear it proudly, wrap up warm for Morgenstreich, I've learnt the book 'Lifting the mask' by heart, etc) ...

I'm more after any tips on how to track down the 'wild' cliques, anywhere that's got a good view of the Monday and Wednesday processions that's likely to be less crowded than elsewhere, any of the less official events that it would be good to get a sight of, and also what are the decent local beers, is there anywhere a vegetarian might get a decent meal, etc etc ...

All hints much appreciated. I'm really completely over-excited about this one and it's still several weeks to go!

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Subject: RE: Basel fasnacht 2013 - any advice?
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 09:36 PM

"Fife Geek"; Huh? Who do you play with? It's really all good. If you've never been, telling you the all hot spots is going to be like, describing how to take in Disney's 3 parks in 3 hours.
If you're in CH early at all, you can take in various other regional "carnivals". Many of the rural community's that surround Basle City have their own unique pagan rituals during that preceding weekend. Liestal comes to mind.
YOU MUST TAKE IN MORGENSTEICH! Go to bed earlier than you want to (the city will be abuzz with energy and anticipation, but go to bed) on Sunday night, and set an alarm for 2. Basle is packed by 2:30-3, and Morge'streich is magic you don't want to miss. You might as well stay up through the day now. If you've never been you should check out the parades both Monday and Wednesday. They're not like parades in the states. An hour here, an hour there, then wander, the cool stuff is in the alleys (gassle), but you should check out the parade. Fasnacht is everywhere! You cannot get away from it for the duration of the carnival. And it's all safe; so don't be afraid to wander and explore. There are nicer neighborhoods, and less nice, but you're not going to find trouble during Fasnacht. If you're still out and about by Monday evening wander up by the Munster Cathedral. Many of the Cliques will have their Lanterns on display, there at the Munsterplatz. It's pretty breath taking.
        As far as central areas; In Gross Basle, the triangle formed by Munzgasse, Schnablegasse, & Spalenberg, sees a lot of clique traffic. I recommend the Schnable for a beverage and or snack, though there is street food as well. In Glaibasle: it's smaller, so you're always in the center. Don't leave Glaibasle without stopping at the Fischerstubbe for a Ueli Beer. Maybe the best beer you've ever had in your life.
        You say you are a fifer. That means everyone you know will tell you Guggemuusig is evil/stupid/noise. If you have never been to Fasnacht you owe it to yourself to be at Markt Platz (Grosbasle), or Claraplatz (Glaibasle) on Tuesday night. You may well choose to never go back again, but you'll never see or hear anything like that anywhere else.
I'm a fifer too; we may know a few of the same people. Wow! I drank a whole beer writing this answer.

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Subject: RE: Basel fasnacht 2013 - any advice?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 08:49 AM

Thanks Marc, that's really useful.

We're not flying in until the afternoon before Morgensteich, so won't get a chance to catch any of the pre-festivities you mention. Thankfully our hotel is very close to the triangle you mention so we should pick up the action very easily.

I mainly play fife for the Morris here in England; it gives something a bit different over the standard wall of melodeons ...

I am looking forward to hearing the Guggemusik as well to be honest; the Tuesday evening sounds like fun (well of course the whole three days sounds like fun).

Many thanks for your info

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Subject: RE: Basel fasnacht 2013 - any advice?
From: Marc Bernier
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 04:54 PM

All that being said. Fasnacht I feel is a lot like Morris dancing. It is not a very entertaining spectator activity. Most of the folks who enjoy Morris dancing are Morris dancers, or part of a team anyway. Basler's who don't make Fasnacht generally leave Basle for the week.

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