Since we first stepped off the tram in Basel I have been noticing masks in many shop windows. My sister informs me that this is in aid of the Basel carnival that is happening next week.
According to Wikipedia…
The Basler Fasnacht starts on the Monday after Ash Wednesday at precisely 4:00 am with the so-called Morgestraich. The carnival lasts for exactly 72 hours and, therefore, ends on Thursday morning at 4:00 am. During this time the Fasnächtler (the participants) dominate the old town of central Basel, running free in the streets and restaurants. Basler Fasnacht is often referred to as die drey scheenschte Dääg (“the three most beautiful days”).
The approximately 18,000 active Fasnächtler dress up in a wide variety of costumes, including a mask known as a Larve. Participants are completely covered and remain incognito during the festivities; it is considered highly inappropriate to identify oneself. Members of the various Cliques wear uniform costumes that fit a specific theme, except during Morgestraich and on Fasnacht Tuesday. Costumes can commonly represent famous persons, such as politicians, or even comic characters or animals. More traditional masks recall Napoleonic soldiers, harlequins (Harlekin) and the famous Waggis.
So it being Shrove Tuesday today means that I will not be here to witness the carnival next week. Nevermind.
In our travels today I took a few pictures – of course….