“To the end” is the motto of this year’s Basel carnival, which began on Monday at 4am. As the lights went out in the city centre, colourful satirical lanterns illuminated the 10,000 revellers and musicians. (Keystone SDA, swissinfo.ch)
“Morgestraich, vorwärts marsch!” (morning parade, forward march!). The cry rang out and the groups started shuffling along the streets of Basel’s Old Town behind their massive lanterns. The sky was clear, the wind was calm, and drummers and pipers ensured everyone was wide awake.
The range of targets for the lanterns was as wide as in previous years. In addition to racism, environmental pollution and assisted suicide, the satirists took aim at global news events (US President Donald Trump as a pedlar of fake news) as well as more local ones (a blaze in a Basel timber yard).
As expected, gender roles, sexism and political (in)correctness played a significant role.
The motto, “Bis zletscht” (to the end), alludes to the end of the MUBA trade fair, the self-declared “mother of all trade fairs”, which closed its doors in Basel for the 103rd and final time in February.
Even if you speak German, you might be thrown by some of the local terms heard at the Basel carnival. Here are a few of them:
Bebbi: a person or people from Basel. “Look at that/those Bebbi!”. A local child is a Binggi.
Druggede: the throng of people at the Morgestreich.
Gässle: To wind through the alleys, usually stopping off for something to eat or drink.
Goschdym: a costume. There are several classical carnival characters such as Ueli, Bajass, Waggis and the Old Aunt. Everyone actively involved in carnival gets dressed up. Spectators don’t.
Ladäärne/Ladättere: the satirical lanterns.
Larve: a mask.
(Source: 20Minuten)end of infobox