Carnival in Central Switzerland


Description

In Central Switzerland carnival events abound between Schmutziger Donnerstag (Dirty Thursday) and Güdeldienstag (Shrove Tuesday). The common goals are to have fun, play with societal roles and social identities, and make a lot of noise. Carnival in the city of Lucerne ranks especially high in terms of organisation, rituals and popularity. In some of the main rural areas, unique traditions have established themselves, with the nineteenth century seeing much of this change. The Katzenmusik march in Uri or the Nüsslet dance in Schwyz provide good examples. In general carnival is the most popular festival in all cantons of Central Switzerland.

Image gallery

  • The carnival procession in Lucerne in front of the Schweizerhof hotel, here transformed into Fritschihof © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • The “Noggeler” carnival band in Lucerne, 2009 © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • Brother Fritschi, the carnival character of Lucerne, in the procession of 1996 together with his wife © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • Costumed ball in Willisau, Canton of Lucerne, 1976 © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • Katzenmusik in the procession on Carnival Monday in Altdorf, 2011 © Rolf Gisler-Jauch, Altdorf
  • Katzenmusik on Winkelplatz square in Altdorf, ca 1900 © Archiv Fasnächtliches Uri
  • Carnival characters on the main square in Schwyz in 2011 just before the competition “Nüsslet” dancing © Stefan Dettling, Schwyz
  • Blätz, an original carnival character, mingling in Haug Cafe/Restaurant in Schwyz in 2011 © Stefan Dettling, Schwyz
  • The carnival procession in Lucerne in front of the Schweizerhof hotel, here transformed into Fritschihof © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • The “Noggeler” carnival band in Lucerne, 2009 © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • Brother Fritschi, the carnival character of Lucerne, in the procession of 1996 together with his wife © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • Costumed ball in Willisau, Canton of Lucerne, 1976 © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern
  • Katzenmusik in the procession on Carnival Monday in Altdorf, 2011 © Rolf Gisler-Jauch, Altdorf
  • Katzenmusik on Winkelplatz square in Altdorf, ca 1900 © Archiv Fasnächtliches Uri
  • Carnival characters on the main square in Schwyz in 2011 just before the competition “Nüsslet” dancing © Stefan Dettling, Schwyz
  • Blätz, an original carnival character, mingling in Haug Cafe/Restaurant in Schwyz in 2011 © Stefan Dettling, Schwyz

Video

Roger Federer at Lucerne Carnival in 2010, film by Emanuel Ammon, Lucerne © Emanuel Ammon/AURA, Luzern

References and documentation

Publications
  • Emanuel Ammon (Ed.): Luzerner Fasnacht. Eine Zeitreise durch zwei Generationen. Luzern, 2005

  • Emanuel Ammon (Ed.): JoDuFäscht. Luzerner Fasnacht 2008. Luzern, 2008

  • Ernst-Louis Bingisser et al.: Dr Tüfel isch lous. Einsiedler Fasnacht. Einsiedeln, 2004

  • Josef Gnos: Musikvereine. Blasmusik, Laienorchester, Guggenmusik. In: Kreative Provinz. Musik in der Zentralschweiz. Ed. Alois Koch. Luzern, 2010, p. 48-77

  • Karl Imfeld: Volksbräuche und Volkskultur in Obwalden. Kriens, 2006

  • Rolf Gisler-Jauch: Fasnächtliches Uri. Altdorf, 2004

  • Elisabeth Pfister-Scheurer: Baarer Räbefasnacht. In: Zuger Neujahrsblatt. Zug, 1996, p. 97-102

  • Werner Röllin: Der Märchler Rölli (Marchringheft 48). Lachen, 2007

  • Silvio Panizza (Hrsg.): Faszination Lozärner Fasnacht. Band 1: Die Guuggenmusigen. Band 2: Geschichte - Zünfte - Umzug - Fasnachtsbälle. Band 3: Brauchtum - Fasnachtskunst. Luzern: Verlag Lozärner Fasnachtsfüerer, 1988, 1989,     und 1996

  • Paul Hugger: "Bruder Fritschi von Luzern. Zur Deutung einer fasnächtlichen Integrationsfigur", In: Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde 79 (1983), S. 113-130 (ergänzender Teil In: Schweizerisches Archiv für Volkskunde 93 (1997), S. 125-136)

  • Daniel Annen: Das verrückte Dorf. Herausgegeben von den Schwyzer Nüsslern zum 75jährigen Jubiläum. Schwyz: Schwyzer Nüssler, 1995

  • Josef Wiget und Hans Steinegger: Feste und Bräuche im Kanton Schwyz. Schwyz, 1989, p. 252-317

Documentation