Fasnacht in Switzerland

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our costumes at a Saturday night party (I'm the black swan!)
Before I moved to Switzerland, I had never heard of "Fasnacht" and I didn't really pay attention to Carnival in Europe - but oh. my. goodness. Fasnacht in Luzern has to be one of Europe's best kept secrets - it is a RIOT. Quite literally, actually. For 1 week this normally sedate, courteous, rule following and clean country goes insane. All of that recklessness held in the rest of the year? Unleashed. While celebrations are held throughout Switzerland, Luzern is known for hosting one of the craziest weeks.






(The above pictures were taken during a day parade by my friend Audrey!)

While celebrations can start as early as the January/February, It all officially starts at 5 am (oopsy, edited from 5:30 - you know I wasn't up!) on the morning of Dirty Thursday where Schwanenplatz in Luzern is packed with people in costume, gluhwine and beer is flowing, band music is playing...and it basically doesn't stop until Fat Tuesday. People call off of work for this week solely to spend the time drinking in costume. It's bizarre. I didn't attend the early morning kick off but I did hear the marching band going down the street even in my little village! There's basically two ways to experience Fasnacht - you either leave on vacation to avoid marching band music for a week straight OR if you can't beat them, join them =)

Pictures from my villages celebration
Even the surrounding villages have celebrations, including mine =) I love my town's celebration because it's a little more low-key - you don't have to wait in line forever to get food and drinks and everyone seems to know everybody so there's a laidback coming together vibe.

Anyway, it is totally mental, but if you're up for it - it would be an amazing time to visit Luzern! Last year M and I casually observed the madness but this year we jumped in! Sink or swim! (or get confetti thrown on  you if you're not in costume) =)



92 comments:

Clare B said...

Great pictures of Fasnacht - especially of the parade. Apparently in Cologne you can officially get married for the week of Faschings, guess it puts the whole idea of 'waiting until marriage' on its head. lol

Audrey Allure said...

Great images! Sounds so fun! :)

Cara said...

looks like a lot of fun! Thx for sharing! <3

<3 Cara
Lilac and Grey

Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

WOW! That looks wild, how fun!!!!

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

Now I'm jealous; to be so close and practically not know this was even going on?! Crazy... if I'm around next year, I'm thinking I'll need to at least see it!

Diana Mieczan said...

That looks so awesome!!! I love the parade...so wild:) Kisses, sweetie

Molly said...

I had NO idea that this much crazy fun was going on Switzerland! ;)

Your costume is pretty fantastic and all the pictures make me want to experience this party FIRST HAND.

Kristina said...

haha, you are so right, you are either in or out :) I am normally more "out", I guess I have celebrated Fasnacht too often and too heavy when I was younger!
Love your black swan outfit, cool idea!!
xox

Tracey said...

Wow - what a crazy, amazing event ... I bet that was lots and lots of incredible fun! :D

You know those parties that you hear about after they've happened and they look like the most amazing thing ever? ... THIS looks like one of those parties! ;)

PS. You make a stunning Black Swan! :)

andrea despot said...

holy crap! that looks crazy! and fun :P

Claire said...

ah it looks fantastic! I want to go x

Amanda said...

Hi Natalie Portman, your black swan costume is wonderful!

Staley Mc said...

How fun! I love seeing the picures!

Stephanie said...

That looks like a whole lot of fun!

Julie said...

That's awesome...you look great as the black swan!!

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

cool pictures - looks like quite the party!

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Wow how fun!

Sandra Leiva said...

Carnival is great, we celebrate it every year here in Spain!
Great pictures, darling <3

kelli g. { bug miscellany } said...

that's awesome! i'm pretty sure they do something like this in germany, but the area we lived in was a little too, ahem, straight laced for that. :P

ps - what is with the clock-heads? does it mean something? besides being totally cool.

ellie said...

Wow, how fun! Here, we have our military holiday parades. All the firetrucks out. It gets kind of miserable, listening to them. One of my favorite groups is the tap dance troop. We're doing good to go see the panacake man, afterwards.

lucy and sarah said...

Such great costumes. What a cool activity.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

Woohoo Ms. Black Swan! That is totally funny how Luzern goes all out!

xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

katie said...

that looks like it was lots of fun!! i love festivals like that when everyone gets involved and crazy. i was living in downtown Vienna the year of the Euro Cup, it was INSANE! and so much fun! the main centre of the city was closed down to cars for like 3 weeks and people just partied!

Meri said...

I lived in Switzerland for 3 years and for the past 2 years I have spent several months there every year and I have never attended a carnival there! Looks like fun though, they have a lot of other event in Zurich that I usually go to, like Street Parade:)

Tee, Passports and Postcards said...

That sounds insanely fun! I think I'd join in the fun too if I was there.

Teenage Bride said...

wow!! These pictures are awesome!

Jamie said...

This looks so awesome! So much fun.

modanista junkie said...

Oooh looks like so much fun!

xoxo,
melrod

jeanette from everton terrace said...

How joyfully wonderful. I love it and am tickled you joined in this year. I think my daughter would love living there, not for this but for the "normally sedate, courteous, rule following and clean country". Heck, sounds good to me as well :)

PursuitOfLLT said...

this sounds AHmazing!! i went to carnivale in venice and it was insane. costumes + mass alcohol had me a little weirded out at times haha

{Selma} Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

hehe, you know what I did. Just wanted to say the kick off/official start is at 5am. ;) Always has been, always will. Then the bands are allowed to play and walk about and wake everyone up. ;)

Loved the pictures.

Collette Osuna said...

Seriously looks so cool and like so much fun!! Thanks for sharing the pics....I would have never known about this:)

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Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

When I lived in Switzerland I remember the wine festival as being pretty crazy- no costumes but same observation of relatively calm people letting loose.

Lok-Yin Lau said...

awesome photos (;

Valerie said...

What a fun celebration! The pictures look crazy! I've never heard of this, but now I want to go sometime!

Nikki said...

Good for you guys! It looks like so much fun! Those costumes are so elaborate.

marissa said...

that looks crayyyzy awesome! and what a good idea to be the black swan!!

naomemandeflores said...

I know what that's like. Not in Switzerland, but in Rio de Janeiro. Everybody goes crazy around here during Carnaval days.

Great pics!


Camila F.

Bella @Bellgetsreal said...

Glad to see the gorilla made an appearance. ha

I love experiencing festivals in other countries. You really get an idea of the people during those times.

Renée said...

This sounds like an amazing event!!

Punctuation Mark said...

that is sooooo cool!!! i've always wanted to go to something like this!

Sunny & Star said...

Amazing pictures. It looks like so much fun and so crazy.

Vanilla said...

Looks amazing! I need to attend next year :)

Love, Vanilla

amy b.s. said...

fantastic photos. so fun! thanks for stopping by!

J.J. said...

i've been way too busy with school to blog often, but you seem to be doing stuff all the time and still manage to fit in detailed entries. me jealous.

brokenproject said...

Sounds like so much fun!
I'm originally from Brazil and the carnival parties are also insane there(but I guess that is no surprise!)
I loved the pics ;)
XO Julia Falci

this free bird said...

Krystal that looks like mad fun - I'd totally give it a try. I might run off after an hour, but it would be something to experience. Your friends pictures are insanely good!

xo,
C

Daniela said...

great pictures and I love your costume :) I really could use a drink... I might just have to celebrate St Patrick's day this year!

Jennifer said...

How fun!!!! you made an amazing black swan! =) I have never been to switzerland but this is totally the time of year I would want to go and get cah-razy!!!! =)

xoXOxo
Jenn @ Peas & Crayons

Girl in Oslo. said...

Hi girl
I finally understood the whole Twitter/sharing tool.
When you click on individual posts it shows the real number of sharing - and if you see more posts then one on a page...it will show all the sharing for that page put together...does this make sense?

It is the only explanation I can come up with...
Understand:?
:)

Have a great day.

Jessi said...

oh wow - looks like an amazing event!

Emily, Ruby Slipper Journeys said...

This sounds amazing! I'd love to go to carnaval one year. My friend was just in Germany in time for it, and it did sound like complete madness. But I agree, your small-town version definitely sounds a lot more relaxing. ; )

E said...

Sounds/looks like a lot of fun, and a good reason to visit.

Dancing Branflake said...

That is crazy! I never heard of this before.

Dilan D said...

lovely photos!

Fashion Cappuccino said...

Wow, looks like such a crazy and fun festival! I wish there's something like that here where everybody just let loose! I wish I could visit Switzerland and live there for a while just to experience this! xoxooxo

FRANKIE HEARTS FASHION said...

Looks like an absolute blast! And awesome that you jumped right in and joined the fun! xx

and flowers pick themselves said...

oh how awesome! thanks for sharing!

xo Alison

Catita said...

oh my! that sounds so cool! Here in the South of the NL they also celebrate carnaval and last year we went to Maastricht and it was so much fun! I love your costume by the way!
xoxo
Catita

Cecille said...

looks like a great event! i wish i could party on there a day or two!

Tamara said...

Oh, this might have been sooo funny! There was nothing special in here, nothing I realized of, I mean ;)

:: Lavender's Green :: said...

That's awesome! Is it celebrating anything in particular?

x Jasmine

Kelly Leigh said...

I love your outfit and that little baby all decked out! Glad to hear you had fun!

Kristin said...

What a fabulously fun festival that looks like!

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Ha! That looks like a ton of fun! Thanks for sharing the great pix :) xoxo

GIRL AND CLOSET said...

aww, this looks like a blast hun! I love festivals, the food, hot drinks, & mingling -SO FUN! xx veronika

ag. said...

I actually think this looks amazing! If I ever get the chance to go back to Switzerland, I am so going so I can experience this! I think it's pretty awesome when grown ups get up to silly shenanignas like this!

Charlotte said...

Fasnacht! Looks like a blast. Glad to hear you got involved in the festivities. I missed Fasnacht by about a month last year... I'd love to come again for the celebrations!

Carly said...

Looks like a blast...at least for the first few days.
I like a "mental" good time every now and again....
C

Gracie said...

That sounds utterly intense and wow! It would be a wonderful experience and I'm sure the photo taking would be fun.

Jess said...

Let's talk about those masks....scary! Partying for one week straight sounds tiring - but a blast!

Lisa Daria said...

Great photos - have never heard of it - thank you for sharing -

Angelica Ng said...

Huh, that looks so interesting! It'd be interesting to wake up to the sound of this going on!

http://red-soledfashionista.blogspot.com/

Natalie said...

Looks like so much fun!

Coco Coterie said...

Scratching head...think maybe...I need to be where you. :) xox Alexandra

Chuzai Living said...

Wow, this is hilarious! How fun! It seems that the season coincide with the Marti Gras. How fun! The whole city seemed to enjoy the celebration. Wonderful!

this is me. said...

that festival is the business! i love your costume. looks great on you, you almost look like natalie portman. even better cause i can say i know you :)

p.s. don't worry about the silver jewelry post, just whenever you can.

p.p.s. follow me and i'll follow you, k? (just had to write that there!)

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Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

5am? Wow that's dedication! Looks like a blast! Almost like a version on Halloween :)

Kimia Kline said...

ah this looks/sounds amazing! i'd never heard of it either--but sounds like a great time to visit. :)

Kellie Collis said...

It looks like a lot of fun and festivities! Have a fabulous weekend, Kellie xx

urbandon (Don Pezzano) said...

Sounds crazy and fun and noisy.

Poppies and Sunshine said...

Wow sounds so crazy and fun!

Galit said...

Wow!!! That's a total magic!!! i love this kind of festivals!!!



(That's you as the black swan right?? that's just perfect and you look beautiful!!!)

Brenna said...

Wow amazing! I have never seen a carnaval quite so crazy. It's definitely not like that in France!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Amazing pictures. Looks another great carnival activity!

Marissa said...

This looks like so much fun! Like Halloween, but better. And you're costume is amazing, btw.

Haylee said...

This is exactly why I need to move to Europe. You guys always have the sweetest things going on I swear! I'm going to make it a goal to make it to Luzern once in my lifetime for something like this. Though I am going to Paris in June. Do you know if they ever have any cool festivals like this held there? I'll have to do some research.
I'm interested what YOU wore to the festival. :)

Girl in Oslo. said...

Looks like an awesome time:)

Happy Saturday girl...
Bye

Mumbles said...

Wow
I love the Black and White Swan dresses
they're the coolest fancy dresses I've seen (at least this year)
hope you had a great time

♥ Marley

Lrc said...

Great costumes! I wish we had a Fasnacht type parade thing at this time of year--thanks for sharing the photos!

mienkintoshfairie said...

That is wicked cool that you went as the black swan! Such a festive fun holiday, I like how you phrased: law abiding

 

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