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Fasnacht

Dating from the Middle Ages, Fasnacht, Switzerland's best-known festival, draws people from all over the world. Beginning at 4 am on the Monday following Ash Wednesday, all lights are turned off and the city is illuminated by the lanterns of the Cliques (carnival associations). The event features a blast of fifes and drums, boisterous Guggemusik (played by enthusiastic, rather than talented, marching bands), and a covering of confetti. The streets are packed with zillions of onlookers who have fortified themselves against the cold morning with a bowl of the traditional Mehlsuppe (flour soup). A colorful masked procession traverses the Old Town until dawn, and continues for the next two days.

Updated: 09-2013

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