Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland
Advertisement

Revellers take to streets for annual carnivals

Share this article

Revellers take to streets for annual carnivals
Photo: Carnaval de Sion
10:23 CET+01:00
Thousands of people took to the streets in towns across the cantons of Valais, Jura and Fribourg at the weekend as carnival season in Switzerland gets under way.

An estimated 50,000 spectators took part in a parade of almost as many costumed revellers in Sion, the Valais capital on Saturday, the ATS news agency reported.

“We estimated the number of participants at 43,000 on Saturday and 10,000 on Sunday,” Yoann Schmidt, chairman of the Sion carnival’s organizing committee told ATS.

In the Valais town of Monthey, a carnival procession on Sunday attracted a record crowd of 45,000 people, according to organizers.

Fifteen floats lampooned current events from the past year, including the arrest of Greenpeace activists protesting oil drilling in the Arctic, ATS reported.

The city of Lucerne launched its annual carnival last Thursday and other cities such as Bern and Basel are set to celebrate theirs in the coming days.

The events are based on religious traditions — catholic and protestant, depending on the region.

The carnivals in predominantly catholic regions run until Ash Wednesday, offering an opportunity for participants to unwind before Lent, the period of abstinence leading up to Easter.

Protestant communities, have their own carnival traditions with a different calendar, thumbing their nose at the conventions of Lent by staging their events after Ash Wednesday

Switzerland’s biggest carnival, the Basel Fasnacht, starts early in the morning on March 10th and runs until early in the morning of March 14th.

The traditionally protestant event in the German-speaking city features parades with costumed celebrants, and the music of marching drummers, piccolo players and brass bands.
 

Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

Advertisement

From our sponsors

Healthcare in Switzerland: Everything expats should know

Switzerland isn’t just famous for chocolate, watches, and cheese. It also has what is widely considered to be one of the world’s best healthcare systems, and once you’re a Swiss resident you’ll have full access to its services.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement