Lucerne Carnival

Lucerne Carnival, also popularly known as Fasnacht, is unique in terms of its historical development.

Lucerne Carnival, also popularly known as Fasnacht, is unique in terms of its historical development.

The origins of the event are marked by the figure of Fritschi, an elderly man with his wife known as the Fritschene. While the name Fritschi probably derives from Fridolin, the origin and meaning of the figure are not so easy to determine. What’s certain is that Fritschi can be traced back to the 15th century, when he used to be a straw puppet and probably the symbolic figure of one of the guilds.

The week-long party kicks off at 5:00 a.m. on Dirty Thursday with the emergence of the character Fritschi from a window in the town hall, when bands of musicians and revelers take to the streets. The peaceful lakeside “city of lights” suddenly becomes a wild and spooky stage for imaginary masked figures to roam. The carnival moves through increasingly raucous celebrations climaxing on Fat Tuesday and is over on Ash Wednesday.

It’s a wonderful experience to enjoy the Carnival bands on the streets and on parade playing well known tunes, to watch the groups in different masks and costumes perform pantomimes, dances and sketches, and most importantly, to snap around with my LOMO camera like crazy in the dressed-up crowds! No need to worry about getting offended at all! Everyone looks so happy, friendly and colorful and they are always willing to pose for you!

If you come to Switzerland in February, don’t miss out the big party!

Located in central Switzerland, Lucerne is reachable by direct train from both Bern and Zurich within one and a half hours.

written by saviorjosh on 2008-04-27 in #world #locations #religion #art #history

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