Celebrating Carnival in Luzern

Although Carnival (called Fasnacht in German) is celebrated throughout the country, the party aspect is taken most seriously in Luzern. On the first Thursday seven weeks before Easter each year, seven days of madness follow, alive with parades, confetti, dancing, singing, and, of course, drinking. The parades begin with an orderly procession of Guggä—elaborately costumed brass and drums bands that can turn any pop tune into a festive event—that soon devolves into a writhing, rowdy, Old Town festival that goes more or less nonstop throughout the week. Visitors are encouraged, if not downright expected, to join in. Many locals take the week off—there's no getting any work done anyway.

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