A Spectacle of Joy: The Duration and Highlights of the Cortège at the Carnival of Basel

One of the most anticipated events of the Basler Fasnacht, a vibrant annual carnival held in Basel, Switzerland, is the Cortège. This grand parade, lasting several hours, is a whirl of colour, music, and celebration. Let’s delve into what to expect during this unforgettable spectacle.

Photo of two "Alti Dante" - classic and traditional Basel Carnival figures, on a Chaise at the Carnival of Basel. Image is symbolic for article: Where are the Best Places to Watch the Cortège at the Carnival of Basel?
A “Chaise” at the Cortége of the Carnival in Basel. Hopefully without the usage of horses soon. Photo © Atelier Charivari

The Cortège: A Parade Like No Other

Running for about five to six hours, the Cortège starts in the early afternoon and continues until the evening. The streets of Basel come alive with the sound of music, laughter, and applause as a procession of individuals and groups, all dressed in elaborate costumes and masks, march through the city.

Terrifying Monster Guggenmusic at Carnival of Basel: Symbolic Image for Guggen-Concert Article
Monster’s Melody: Guggenmusic Strikes Fear into the Carnival of Basel (Photo iStock)

What to Expect: A Riot of Colour and Sound

The Cortège is a festival of creativity, with each participating group showcasing its unique theme and set of costumes. From traditional Swiss instruments to modern pop music, the parade is filled with musicians whose tunes provide the soundtrack to this exciting event. Dancers, acrobats, and other performers showcase their skills, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

Carnival of Basel 2024: The Cortege - Tourist Information and Insights (Symbolic Image of a past Carnival, symbolizing english speaking users interested in information on the Carnival of Basel 2024.)
The Grand Procession: Carnival of Basel 2024 Cortege with Enchanting Giant Waggis Head Parade (Photo iStock)

Not to be missed are the legendary Waggis, a group of men donning oversized masks and ragged clothing, who delight the crowd by tossing oranges and other treats.

Prepare for an Unforgettable Experience

If you’re planning to attend the Basler Fasnacht, get ready for an exhilarating day at the Cortège. With a riot of colour, sound, and surprises around every corner, this unique spectacle will leave you with memories to cherish for years to come.

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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