Carnival of Basel 2025: The Cortege (Tourist-Information and Insights)

Introduction to the Carnival of Basel 2025

The Carnival of Basel 2025, or Basler Fasnacht as the locals call it, is not just a carnival; it’s an experience. This unique Swiss celebration, marked by a riot of colors, captivating music, and fascinating traditions, is a must-see spectacle for any avid traveler.

History of the Carnival of Basel


The origins of the Carnival of Basel can be traced back to medieval times, with its roots embedded in both religious observances and seasonal festivities. Over time, it has evolved into a cultural phenomenon that captivates both locals and tourists alike.

Evolution over the Years

The Carnival has seen many changes, growing from a local celebration to an internationally recognized event. Today, it’s a living testament to Basel’s rich history and vibrant culture.

The Cortege: A Highlight of the Carnival

Understanding the Cortege

The Cortege is a grand parade, the heart and soul of the Carnival. Comprised of numerous groups, or “Cliques”, it traverses the city in a stunning display of creativity and camaraderie.

Participating Groups

From traditional music groups to elaborate lantern designers, the Cliques are the stars of the Cortege. Each brings their unique flair, contributing to a diverse and exciting parade.

Unique Features of the Cortege

Traditional Costumes

Costumes are central to the Cortege, ranging from the eerie to the extravagant. Participants wear masks, or “Larven”, creating an otherworldly atmosphere.

Musical Elements

Music fills the air during the Cortege, with piccolos and drums providing a distinctive soundtrack. It’s a symphony of sounds that gives the event its unmistakable rhythm.

Lanterns and Props

Illuminated lanterns and intricately designed props of all kind add to the visual splendor of the Cortege. Each tells a story, often infused with satire and social commentary.

Preparing for the Carnival of Basel 2024

Dates and Times

In 2025, the Carnival will commence on March 10th, kicking off with the Morgenstreich at 4 a.m. The Cortege takes place on Monday and Wednesday afternoons.

Best Viewing Spots

Securing a good spot is key to fully enjoy the Cortege. Popular viewing locations include the Marktplatz and the Clara neighborhood. You can also try the Minster Cathetral Area for a great and unique oversight being dozens for meters above the River Rhein.

Tips for First-Time Attendees

Prepare for any weather, and don’t forget to dress warmly for the early morning start. Get a Fasnacht badge to support the event, and feel free to join in the revelry – but remember to respect the traditions and participants.

See you in Basel?

The Carnival of Basel is an experience like no other, a whirlwind of sights, sounds, and emotions. At the center of it all is the Cortege, a parade that captures the spirit of the city and its people. Whether you’re a seasoned carnival-goer or a first-time attendee, the Carnival of Basel 2025 promises to be an unforgettable event. So mark your calendar, pack your bags, and get ready to immerse yourself in this extraordinary celebration!


1. What should I wear to the Carnival of Basel 2025? Casual, comfortable clothing is recommended, but don’t forget to dress warmly, particularly for the early morning start.

2. Can I participate in the Cortege at the Carnival in Basel 2025? Participation in the Cortege is typically limited to registered Cliques. However, everyone is encouraged to join in the general carnival festivities.

3. Are there any special rules I should be aware of? Yes, there are certain traditions to respect. For example, it’s not appropriate to throw confetti on a Piccolo player or someone wearing a Larve.

4. Is the Carnival suitable for children? Absolutely! The Carnival is a family-friendly event. However, it can be loud and crowded, so it might be overwhelming for very young children.

5. Where can I buy a Fasnacht badge? Fasnacht badges, which help fund the Carnival, can be purchased from various locations in Basel, including kiosks, bakeries, and from Clique members themselves.

Picture of Bastian Peter

Bastian Peter

Bastian Peter is immersed all year in the Carnival of Basel. Since almost 20 years, Peter is the 'Larvenmacher' (mask maker) at the Atelier Charivari, and a dedicated devotee of the Carnival of Basel's traditions and culture. With nearly two decades of experience, he's been creating distinctive masks at the Larven Atelier Charivari, the family-run Larven Atelier in Basel, Switzerland, established in 1976.

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