FASNACHT~Carnival~LUZERN

 Lindsay_in_full_on_Silver_Star_Self

Lindsay_in_full_on_Silver_Star_Self

My first Fasnacht was over ten years ago. It was one for the books, to be sure and I wasn't sure I would ever need to explore such an epic Carnival Festival ever again. They say, you only need to go to Luzern's Fasnacht ONCE in your life. Well, this year I decided I would have to return. Seeing as I am self-employed and Fasnacht falls on a Thursday/Monday/Tuesday. (many people take their holidays this week) The grande opening/start happens in the old town section of one of Switzerlands most beautiful cities, Luzern, at 5am and the formal closing ceremonies end at 8pm the following Tuesday. I headed out by bus and train on Monday and wandered around in AWE for hours. Some of my friends leave the city for the entire LOUD and CRAZY spell of Awesome and some join in for the best time ever. This Feat for the eyes and ears is centuries old and usually takes place before Lent.. pre-Fast! 

 A_wonderful_costume

A_wonderful_costume

Guggenmusik is mostly what you hear while wandering around the confetti filled cobblestone streets. Big Bands practice all year, top forty and old school sounds and people also spend the year making their costumes. The masks are unreal and very scary at times!!! There are SO many people on the streets and SO many bands filing through the narrow paths that sometimes they cross with each other and the chaos of sound is unlike any other, the drums outweigh all of the noise and when there are two groups of twenty (or more) people weaving through each other with FULL on costumes and HUGE detailed masks, playing drums, both in different tempos, it is wonderful and strange to say the least.

 Fishermen_costumes_with_drums

Fishermen_costumes_with_drums

 Elves_music

Elves_music

 Mount_Pilatus_players_and_people_in_Luzern

Mount_Pilatus_players_and_people_in_Luzern

You truly have NO idea what images and sounds you are going to see and hear next. I only wish that my Iphone4 (gonna use it til it dies!) didn't fill up so fast or I would have taken so many more photos, as it was I had to go through and delete all the time for better shots. ANYTHING goes at Fasnacht. Really, some might think many sights were unacceptable, especially in today's time of being 'overly' politically correct. I had to keep my mouth shut on a few occasions, which I am sure some of you reading might 'tsk tsk' at, but in the name of PARTY and a wild one like this, I decided to just let it all go and live and let live! Needless to say, I refrained from taking photos of that which didn't suit....

The details that go into the creation of these elaborate costumes, BLOW my mind!! In Switzerland, it is safe to say that it is pretty "safe" here. It certainly isn't a very loud place, in general, but there really are NO rules during this Carnival. That said, it is rare to see or hear a fight and the garbage gets swept up by the hour... I am not sure the confetti is ever swept clean, it get's everywhere! 

 Confetti_in_the_cracks

Confetti_in_the_cracks

People also go to great lengths, building floats and moving trains and so much more. SO incredibly elaborate. You really must come to see this, yes, at least ONCE in your life. But plan your costume early, not the day OF like I did. I knew I had some silver make up and a great silver wig, but wasn't I lucky to find a huge roll of tinfoil to help matters?? Tinfoil is a good heat-insulator as well so it turns out. There are DJ's and beats ALL over, so dancing is also encouraged! The restaurants and bars are also open to all, but mostly the party is on the streets.

Yes, scary masks to be sure! Yet, I saw many children in costumes enjoying the festivities, so perhaps after hundreds and hundreds of years, this fabulous weekend is highly appreciated and prepared for. Shocks come at every turn though. I was leaning to the side of one of the covered bridges, erasing photos from my phone (I had to make space!) pretty focused, when I looked up to see an entire band, inches away from me, walking slowly towards me, massive masks, about fifty people who just out of the blue started playing. I couldn't get away, and stood in awe as they filed (slowly and creepily!) past me, creature by creature! What a feeling!! Anyway, I will leave you with this Lovely photo of this Lovely family.....