The Morgenstreich is a major and spectacular event that starts the Basel carnival.
The Morgenstreich or procession of lanterns, is consistently held the Monday following Ash Wednesday. It is a must attend for many Alsatians … Here is my picture gallery of this year.

See our updated Carnival page for the current year here.


Remparts de Riquewihr is a collection of 14 charming holiday gites in Alsace, France
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From the small studio to the large luxury apartment, the Remparts de Riquewihr is a collection of 14 charming holiday gites superbly located in one of the most beautiful villages of France.
Jewel on the Alsace wine route Riquewihr will be your headquarters to discover all the Alsace, the Vosges and even nearby Germany and Switzerland.
Click to visit our holiday apartments

Wake up! We go to the Morgenstreich!

Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery
Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery

Monday, Feb 15, 2016 — 02:20 in the morning. Sitting in the special train from Strasbourg to Basel… We just passed Colmar and this long train is almost full. Next stop Mulhouse. Basel expected at 3:00.

The Morgenstreich, a strange lantern parade starting Basel 3-day Carnival is the most incredible event I know. This is the second time I am attending the famous Morgenstreich of the Basel Carnival. You have to earn it! Every year, a special train chartered by the SNCF (the French railways company) takes the Alsatian participants to what is the most famous carnival in the region. The train leaves Strasbourg at 1:15 am, stops and takes travelers at Sélestat at 2:00, Colmar and Mulhouse before arriving at Basel at 3:00 am.

Train station Basel at 3:00 AM - Carnival 15FEB2016
Train station Basel at 3:00 AM – Carnival 15FEB2016 – Morgenstreich – Thousands of visitors flock together, arriving from all over Switzerland, Alsace and nearby Germany.

The train is on schedule. Soon a human tide that goes like a huge snake rushes on the platform heading to the city.

We are heading down to the Barfüsserplatz. The most famous square of Basel has a long history. “Barfüsser” means people going without shoes, litterally with “naked feet”. Back to 1231 the mendicant order of the Franciscans had their monastry and church there. Franciscans were calledBarfüsser” (going without shoes) in German-speaking countries.

Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery
Barfüsserplatz in Basel
Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery

Left and right in the streets, huge lanterns are ready. At 4:00 am precisely all lights in the city suddenly vanish. Everything is dark and all of the sudden the shrill sound of fifes and the beating of drums is breaking out! Thousands of colorful lanterns of all sizes start sliding slowly along the streets of downtown. Thousands of onlookers follow in near-total darkness …


Remparts de Riquewihr is a collection of 14 charming holiday gites in Alsace, France
[ Sponsored suggestion ][ CHARMING & LUXURY HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION on the ALSACE WINE ROUTE ]
From the small studio to the large luxury apartment, the Remparts de Riquewihr is a collection of 14 charming holiday gites superbly located in one of the most beautiful villages of France.
Jewel on the Alsace wine route Riquewihr will be your headquarters to discover all the Alsace, the Vosges and even nearby Germany and Switzerland.
Click to visit our holiday apartments

Click on a picture to open the large image slideshow

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The Morgenstreich has started. It’s magic. Every year, some 200 large lanterns form the structure of the Morgenstreich parade. True works of art, they evoke in a satirical and humorous way the major themes of the year. This is so exceptional that it is difficult to speak about. Morgenstreich has to be experienced … Here are my pictures for this year.

Click on a picture to open the large image slideshow

Basel carnival and Morgenstreich in history

Basel Fasnacht certainly goes back to the dawn of time. During the earthquake of 1356 the city was destroyed, as well as many documents and archives. So one of the first documents to mention a raging carnival goes back to 1376 (twenty years after the earthquake). While virtually all carnivals in the world end on Ash Wednesday, since the year 1529, the Basel Carnival begins each year on the Monday after Ash Wednesday at 4:00 am with the Morgestraich (als) (or Morgenstreich) a parade of lanterns.


Remparts de Riquewihr is a collection of 14 charming holiday gites in Alsace, France
[ Sponsored suggestion ][ CHARMING & LUXURY HOLIDAY ACCOMMODATION on the ALSACE WINE ROUTE ]
From the small studio to the large luxury apartment, the Remparts de Riquewihr is a collection of 14 charming holiday gites superbly located in one of the most beautiful villages of France.
Jewel on the Alsace wine route Riquewihr will be your headquarters to discover all the Alsace, the Vosges and even nearby Germany and Switzerland.
Click to visit our holiday apartments

Click on a picture to open the large image slideshow

The oldest document proving and certifying the trade of masks by artists and merchants of the city also dates back to 1529. The first “Morgenstreich” starting at 4:00 am and accompanied by a large procession dates back to 1835. Ten years later, it is prohibited to carry torches for safety issues. Lanterns on sticks (Stecken) are replacing them. The year 1860 saw the appearance of the first large lantern at the Morgenstreich.

Practical information about Fasnacht and Basel carnival

Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery
Morgenstreich Basel Carnival Picture Gallery

The festival lasts exactly 72 hours ending Thursday at 4:00 am. The people of Basel call these three days of carnival “the three most beautiful days of the year” (“Die drey scheenschte Daag”).

A multitude of drums, piccolos players, bands (the famous Gugge-Musiken) and carriages (also called chairs) come together in the center of the city to celebrate, laugh, mourn and laugh at everything and nothing …
Cliques (carnival associations) roam the streets, invade cafes and shops.

See our updated Carnival page for the current year here.

Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery
Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery

The “plakette”, passport to Basel Fasnacht

The badge of the Carnival of Basel 2014.
The badge of the Carnival of Basel is changing every year. Here is the model of the year 2014. It is the mark of visitor support, which helps keep the event independent of any sponsor.

The badge named “Plakette” is a kind of ticket to the Carnival of Basel.

It is not mandatory to buy it, but its acquisition is very popular because the money from the sale is used to pay a large share of the costs of the procession Monday and Wednesday.
Money is reinvested in the new theme and topic of the next year.
Most badges are sold by “cliques” themselves, and allow them to cover part of the costs incurred in the preparation of the carnival.

There are 4 categories of badges.
Copper 8 francs – Silver 15 francs – Gold 45 francs – Bijou 100 francs
Badges are also sold through the streets by occasional small merchants or newsstands.
During the carnival, the carnival committee sets up stalls: at the Marktplatz and Claraplatz during the three days, on Tuesday when lanterns are exposed at the Münsterplatz and Mondays and Wednesdays at the Barfüsserplatz.
These stands also offer the official guide carnival “Rädäbäng” collection of pamphlets of “cliques” and “Schnitzelbänke.”

Links

Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery
Morgenstreich Basel Carnival 15FEB2016 Picture Gallery

Basler Fasnacht online website (German)

Basel Carnival Committee (German / French / English).
This website is worth a visit and in detail: it is a mine of information on the history of the event, its preparation, the program and its development. And also on the things to know to respect the spirit of this wonderful event.

See our updated Carnival page for the current year here.

The perfect base to attend all major Carnival events in the Upper Rhine valley.

For visitors staying in one of our holiday apartments in Riquewihr (and La Vancelle), we recommend to board the special night train from Strasbourg to Basel at the station in Sélestat. In Sélestat there are excellent parking facilities in front of the station and you have a better chance to get a seat than in Colmar. One return ticket fixed at EUR 35 (2016) allows you to travel up to 5 people!
The Morgenstreich begins at 4:00 am in the city center of Basel. Do not get there by car.

In the heart of Alsace, our mountain Hiker apartment with a spectacular view on the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle
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Your headquarters to discover all the Alsace, the Vosges and even nearby Germany and Switzerland.
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