The Big Procession
On Monday afternoon the Big Procession or ‘CortegeCortege
The Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’ takes place. The ‘Cortege’ is carried out through the Fasnacht CommitteeFasnacht Committee
The Fasnacht Committee is responsible for the smooth running of Fasnacht. and starts at 1:30 pm. In this procession the ‘Gugge MusicGugge Music
Brass and percussion carnival band or music. Originally cacophonous, nowadays more harmonious.’ bands perform as well as the CliquesCliques
Cliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists. . In addition other groups as ‘ChaisenChaise
Is a carriage with costumed figures.’, ‘WagenWagen
Is a wagon which is pulled by a vehicle and which is filled with flowers, confetti and candy.’ and ‘EinzelmaskenEinzelmasken
This refers to an individual in costumes who marches alone.’ take part. The ‘Cortege‘ lasts until 6:00 pm.
Those who take part in the ‘Cortege’ follow a pre-planned route. There is no specified starting place and there are no agreed formations which the groups follow.
The Fasnacht Committee creates various starting points from which the various groups can begin their procession. Once the groups begin the procession they are free to stop and take a break before continuing and passing the allotted ‘control points’ given by the Fasnacht Committee.
It is in the ‘Cortege’ that the groups present their chosen SubjectSubject
The subject of Fasnacht refers to the themes presented during the official procession.. The costumes, masks (known as ‘LarveLarve
Larve are masks which are in part made of laminated paper.’) and other components reflect the given subject the group has chosen to focus on. It is the cliques that engage with and provide the most detailed exhibition of their subject in the procession. All of the various components together create the so called ‘CliquenzugCliquenzug
This describes all the components of a Clique during the official procession.’.
An official guide from the Fasnacht Committee is in charge of providing information concerning the participating cliques and their subjects. This ‘Fasnacht leader’ can be found at the bookshop Bider & Tanner and at all hotspots of the Fasnacht Commitee at Barfüsserplatz, Claraplatz or Marktplatz.
‘Wild’ group formations
Not all groups take part in the organised procession. Therefore they are also known as ‘wild’ group formations. These groups ‘go it alone’ and do not follow any prescribed route. Instead they begin later in the afternoon. This late start can be attributed to their participation in the ‘MorgenstreichMorgenstreich
This is the official start of Fasnacht in Basel.’ in which they marched later into the morning.
‘Wild’ Gugge Music groups
There are also ‘Gugge Music’ groups who perform spontaneously. These groups tend to be much smaller and only play in the evening.
Many of the visitors tend to stand on the bridges (Mittlere Brücke, Wettsteinbrücke). These bridges offer visitors a beautiful place from which they can see the old city and the Rhein. Other areas of the city which are worth watching the procession from are: Barfüsserplatz, Marktplatz, Wettsteinsplatz and Steinenberg.