The Carnival of Basle
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The Carnival of Basle is the largest popular festival in Switzerland, gathering between 10,000 and 20,000 costume-clad participants each year. The famous opening call, known as the Morgenstreich, is sounded the Monday after Ash Wednesday at four o’clock in the morning. Fife players and drummers, bedecked and masked, set off swaying to the heart of the city that awaits their arrival in the darkness.

The bands of bugles and drums carry lanterns that can reach up to 3 meters in height, creations of wood and fabric that are lit from within and parody the events of the past year. For four days, the Guggenmuusige (masked street orchestras) liven up the city with their incessant parade. The merry-making will last until Thursday at four in the morning—and then it’s another year of patience until the long-awaited sounding of the Morgenstreich.

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