Swiss Carnival

By: Zeevi

March 10, 2010 0 comments Category:Swiss Culture, Swiss Holidays

I’ve written many articles on fun activities in Switzerland during the summer, and to my astonishment it seems as though Switzerland can surprise you during the winter season as well. Everyone knows that skiing is the main sport during the Swiss winter, and I set out this year, as I do every year to the disappearing valley. The valley is hidden between the borders of Switzerland, France and Italy and is parallel to the Montblanc mountain range. I caught the train near the airport and it took me all the way to the small town of Orsair. At the end of the journey, after having switched two different trains, I found myself alone with two locals in two carriages.

My first thought as I stepped out of the train into the center of the town was that I had made a wrong turn somewhere and somehow arrived in Brazil. A fabulous and stylish carnival was unfolding right before my eyes and I was sure that the whole thing had been arranged just to welcome me.

After a short investigation I discovered that the carnival is actually a remnant of the Pagan period, when people were afraid that the winter would never end and that they would soon find themselves frozen stiff and hungry. When the winter did finally end and the sun started to show, it seems as though the pagans would break out in spontaneous celebrations – the carnival is a leftover from those times. The interesting thing is that each Canton, city or village celebrates the end of winter on a different date. From mid-February until the beginning of March you can come to Switzerland and take part in dozens of carnivals, the most famous one taking place in Basel and the more authentic ones in the small villages.

I spent that evening at the local carnival watching people dressed up in wine and beer costumers and taking part some heavy duty dancing (yes the Swiss do know how to get down). It was then that I remembered that I had actually come to ski.

Switzerland’s most famous carnival takes place every year during February and March in Basel.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • email
  • Twitter

Leave a Reply

This blog is kept spam free by WP-SpamFree.