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Basel Carnival kicks off in the dark

Basel Fasnacht 2013 lantern - Pussy Riot Keystone

The city of Basel has launched its annual three-day Fasnacht (carnival) festivities, beginning on Monday at four in the morning with the traditional lantern parade known as the Morgestraich, one of the highlights of the Swiss carnival season.

Tens of thousands of people take part as the old town is plunged into darkness, with the only lighting coming from the lanterns, such as the one above caricaturing the Russian punk rock band Pussy Riot, and torches. The larger lanterns displayed during Switzerland’s biggest carnival often portray contemporary themes.

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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR