February in Switzerland – The Swiss Carnivals Season!

This is your guide to February in Switzerland, where I help you navigate between all the Swiss wild traditions, Fasnacht events, and carnivals as this month is the month to enjoy them.

Brace yourself for a thrilling ride through the heart of Swiss winter festivities, where every town unfolds its unique carnival charm, blending age-old traditions with the magic of the season. From the lively streets of Basel to the enchanting lanes of Einsiedeln, Switzerland comes alive with masked parades, infectious beats, and a whirlwind of celebrations that promise to turn your winter blues into a vibrant symphony of joy.

So, buckle up for an adventure where frosty air meets echoes of laughter, music, and the unmistakable spirit of Swiss Fasnacht!

Here is your list with all the amazing events that are going on around the country:

1st of February

Bellinzona: King Resiga and Queen Reseghina cordially invite you to the carnival at the Pianezzo school center in Valle Morobbia, from January 31 to February 3, 2024. The festivities include a Cirque du Pianezz for children on January 31, a variety of events on February 1 and 2, featuring Guggen performances, dinners, and DJ entertainment, and a closing day on February 3 with lunch, bingo, Guggen performances, and the SGAFFY SHOW, concluding with a spaghetti feast.

More events in the region can be found here.

Roveredo: The Carnevale Lingera, one of the most significant carnivals in Italian-speaking Switzerland. A vibrant celebration with music, performances, parades, and fun. From January 30 to February 4, experience the enchantment of Lingera with a diverse program, including an opening spectacle, themed evenings, a masquerade procession, and lively festivities at the Capannone.

2nd of February

Naters: The Upper Valais carnival kicks off with the dragon eruption in Naters! Symbolizing the transfer of power to Prince Count Jozzelin XII. Following a festive march-in, Guggenmusik performances, and the sword-handover ceremony.

Bulle: The Bulle Carnival is a vibrant local tradition, captivating the town with lively Guggenmusik sounds and a variety of indoor and outdoor activities for both young and old. The highlight is the grand Saturday parade, featuring up to 800 children in splendid costumes, concluding with the symbolic burning of the Winter Man—a traditional celebration marking the end of winter.

Schaffhausen: The carnival will take place from the 2nd till the 4th of February.

Lyss: The Lyss Carnival, “Mir fiire,” will take place from 02.02-04.02. Saturday boasts a grand children’s parade, a kids’ carnival with costume prizes, street festivities, and a masquerade ball. Sunday features a morning matinee, a large parade with float and group awards, Näbugeischt burning, and Usplampete. Don’t miss out on the diverse food and market stalls and the exciting awards for parade floats and groups!

Estavayer-le-Lac: Comes alive with the lively beats of Guggenmusik for a lovely weekend featuring confetti battles, mask competitions, and processions, transforming the medieval city into a vibrant festival hub.

4th of February

Leuk: Experience the grand carnival celebration in Leuk, featuring a big procession with carnival groups. The festivities kick off at 13:30 in Susten and continue at 16:00 in Leuk-Stadt.

8th of February

Lucerne: The Luzern’s Fasnacht is one of the most important Fasnacht events in Switzerland! Taking place between 08.02-13.02. The crazy Fasnachtsumzug parade takes place on Schmutziger Donnerstag (Dirty Thursday) at 14:00. The secnd parade takes place on Monday at 14:00.

Bellinzona: The Bellinzona carnival known as Rabadan, has been a prominent event in Ticino for over 150 years! When for 6 days and nights the kingdom of King Rabadan comes to life. The festival features parades, Guggenmusik concerts, rope pulling tournaments, and the distribution of risotto and luganighe (pork sausages) throughout the old town.

Blatten: Experience the scary “Tschäggättu-Loif” procession, starting around 20:00 in Blatten and continuing to Ferden, as part of the vibrant carnival tradition. For a smoother experience, consider using public transport due to limited parking.

Einsiedeln: Schmutziger Donnerstag in Einsiedeln takes place on February 8th. The day unfolds with the Eintrichlen Children’s event at 4:00 AM, followed by a Seniorenumzug at 9:15 AM, a Children’s Parade at 14:00. In the evening the Beizenfasnacht starting at 20:00. The day offers a diverse program of activities for participants and spectators to engage in. On February 12th you can enjoy the big parade starting at 14:00.

St. Gallen: St. Gallen Fasnacht offers lively events, including Schnitzelbänggler performances, Guggenmusik concerts in the city center, and the traditional Föbü-Verschuss at Vadian. Dates: 08.02-13.02.

Appenzell: The carnival start with the traditional “Ommetrommere,” featuring drummers and the unique “Botzerössli” wooden horse figures on Landsgemeindeplatz. Originating from the southern German region, the “Botzerössli” tradition, once endangered, now thrives uniquely in Appenzell Innerrhoden, with riders donning uniforms and entertaining spectators during the carnival processions, especially in the children’s parade.

Sainte-Croix: A carnival that attracts thousands of visitors from the town and the entire region of Verdun-les-Bains. The festivities include a giant meal for 1,000 people on Friday night, a traditional children’s ball and a torchlight procession on Saturday, and on Sunday, an aperitif concert followed by a humorous floats parade and lively Guggenmusik performances that fill the streets during the grand parade. Dates: 08.02-11.02.

Broc: The Carnival in Broc offers Guggen music, fancy outfits, and the spirit of Carnival in this vibrant event in the canton of Fribourg. Going beyond the regional scope, the celebration in Broc attracts visitors from across Switzerland, offering a lively program.

Allschwil: invites you to the ancient pagan tradition of “Fasnachtsfüür” ignites the Fasnacht season in Allschwil on “Schmutzige Donnschtig” at 6:00 PM. Allschwil’s Fasnacht, one of the larger and well-known traditions in the Basel region, features the ceremonial lighting of “Fasnachtsfüür” on Läubern (Winzerweg) at 6:00 PM. Following Guggenmusik performances, refreshments, and a stroll into the village, the lively celebration of “Schmutzige Donnschtig” continues in the heart of Allschwil.

Brunnen: The grand Brunner Fasnacht parade through the village, draws thousands of spectators annually. The parade is a highlight of the day-long festivities, including a morning wake-up call, Bartli Mass in the village chapel and the main parade in the afternoon. Finishing with a concluding torchlight procession and the burning of the Harligingg.

Sion: The Carnival of Sion is one of the largest annual events in the city. Unfolds over five days and invites you to experience a magical adventure, surrounded by magicians, illusionists, cruel Sultans, and beautiful enchantresses, all under the shining stars of Valais at the base of the Swiss palaces: Valère and Tourbillon. When: 08.02-12.02.

Stans: The Stanser Fasnacht promises an energetic celebration starting with the traditional Urknall (5:30 AM) and the Frohsinn Stans procession on the Dorfplatz. Later, at 2:15 PM, join the lively Stans parade, followed by the vibrant Dorffasnacht, making it a day filled with festive revelry in Stans!

Hochdorf: The Schmotzige Donnstig in Hochdorf commence at 4:30 AM with coffee/bar service on Brauiplatz, followed by the official opening of the Hofderer Fasnacht at 5:00 AM, and a lively atmosphere in Brauisaal from 8:00 AM onwards. The day includes various activities, including a Tambouren parade with the Martinifamilie.

Saint-Maurice: A carnival in Saint-Maurice with a big procession on February 11th at 14:30. Dates: 08.02- 13.02.

9th of February

Chur: The Chur’s Fasnacht features noisy vibrant disguises, and a lively atmosphere. Stands as an insider’s gem and draws tens of thousands annually. Alongside renowned carnivals like Basel or Lucerne, Chur’s festivities, featuring the Saturday parade, Sunday’s children’s parade, Monday’s Schnitzelbank evening, and Wednesday’s “little parade”. Dates: 09.02-14.02.

Romont: The crazy people are going all out! On the program: Grand procession and children’s parade, Guggenmusiks, Masquerade ball, Costume contest for adults and children, Makeup and face-painting, Burning of the winter effigy. When: 09-10.02.

Ennetbürgen: The Ennetbürgen Fasnacht takes place on February 9th. The festivities include a children festivities at 2:00 PM, followed by a grand carnival procession starting at 4:30 PM from Strandbad Buochs-Ennetbürgen towards the village.

Ramsen: A carnival in Ramsen will take place between the 9th to the 10th of February.

Plaffeien: The Carnival of Plaffeien will take place from February 9 – 11th, 2024.

10th of February

Fribourg: Carnaval des Bolzes– Happening in Fribourg between the 10th to the 13st of February. The big procession will happen on the 11.02 and cost 10.- CHF for adult mainly for the organization, Kids under 16 years old pay 5.- CHF and under 5 years old it’s free.

Engelberg: The carnival parade begins around 7:30 PM, starting from Hotel Kempinski and proceeding to the Gemeindehaus. Following the parade, the party kicks off at Ochsenmatt Gaden, slightly above the Brunnibahn valley station. Admission fee is 10 CHF.

Malbun: The Malbun Carnival Parade takes place on February 10th. The carnival is situated at 1600m, a unique experience in Europe. Whether young or old, enjoy free public transportation to Malbun/Liechtenstein. (Note: Entire Malbun is car and bus-free starting from 1:00 PM!)

Orsières: The Orsières Carnival features a procession on Saturday at 16:00, followed by entertainment from the guggens, a dance with the group “1 franc suisse,” and DJ Izzo starting at 18:00. On Sunday, there’s a children’s carnival with DJ Izzo at 14:00, and at 17:00, a beer pong tournament followed by a dance with DJ Izzo. All events take place at Salle Edelweiss with catering available on-site.

12th of February

Châtel-St-Denis: The Children’s Carnival invites you to a captivating circus show at the Zone Récréative des Paccots. Enjoy various circus-themed animations and workshops from 14:00-17:00, while parents can unwind at the Tourist Office bar. Kids can recharge with a delightful snack, creating cherished memories at this exceptional event.

Appenzell: The Buebebloch- The boys of Hundwil, Stein and Schwellbrunn parade their Bloch through the villages every year on the actual Bloch Monday, the Monday after Ash Wednesday. The event start very early in the morning around 4.30 a.m. at Schützenstrasse 11 at the Schafräti restaurant.

13th of February

Ascona: The risotto carnival- The carnival of Ascona is celebrated on Mardi Gras along the beautiful lake promenade on Piazza G. Motta. Along with tasting of risotto and local sausages serves around starting at 12:00.

Einsiedeln: On Güdeldienstag (Shrove Tuesday) in Einsiedeln, the Fasnacht celebrations continue with vibrant activities. Join the lively tradition, including the Brotauswerfen (bread throwing) at 13:30, followed by the Pagatverbrennen (effigy burning) at 19:00, and conclude the day with Austrichlen at 20:00. Don’t miss the colorful Huditreiben festivities!

14th of February

Herisau: The Herisau carnival features various events. The program includes a Fool’s village opening on Ash Wednesday, a children’s procession, masked ball, star march, monster concert, Guggen performances, and more. Additionally, there are activities on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, including a big jesters’ ball, Guggenparty, Guggen concerts, and Blochball.

Thayngen: The Thaynger Fasnacht is one of the region’s largest carnivals, kicks off with a Children’s Fasnacht on Ash Wednesday. The festivities continue on Thursday with the traditional and lively Hemdglunggi party. The highlight of the fifth season is celebrated on Saturday with a colorful carnival procession and an exuberant party. Dates: 14.02-17.02.

Splügen: The Traditional Pschuuri- A wild old tradition is happening in Splügen every year. The “blacking out” of unmarried young people! If you visit this place during the 14.02 you might find out ash on your face and everyone else’s. That, along with crazy costumes and some eggs made dishes..

Biasca: The carnival schedule includes a rooster crowing at 5:00 a.m., the sale of the satirical magazine ‘Ra Froda’ at 10 a.m., children’s animation at 14:00, an aperitif at 18:00, and a night procession at 20:30. The festivities continue with a children’s parade, snack, dinner, Carristi entertainment, and various events until 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Dates: 14.02-18.02.

15th of February

Bern: The Bern Carnival is the third-largest carnival event in Switzerland! Kicking off on Thursday with the traditional “Bärebefreiig” (Bear Liberation), awakening and freeing the bear from hibernation in the cage tower. Amidst wintry temperatures, masked participants, including Guggen, Schnitzelbänkler, theater, and costume groups, fill the old town’s alleys and restaurants, infusing the 6 km-long Bernese arcades with lively rhythms and festive cacophony.

Payerne: The Brandons of Payerne is one of Switzerland’s oldest carnivals. It transforms the town into a realm of creative costumes, magical beings, and vibrant floats. This tradition-filled event, featuring daring displays, enchanting processions, and joyful music, captivates attendees with wonder, surprise, and celebration. When: 16.02-19.02.

Biel: Biel’s Carnival, with roots tracing back to the 19th century, commences as the mayor hands over the keys to the city to “Prince Carnival” for a five-day celebration. The traditional carnival unfolds, featuring concerts, visits to adorned restaurants, and lively festivities in carnival cellars and tents.

Tesserete: Or Penagin is a carnival in the Ambrosian rite held in Tesserete, Canton Ticino. The term translates to ‘he who uses the churn’ and symbolizes butter-making. The carnival features ‘His Majesty Or Penagin’ as the king, dressed as a peasant, and the ‘Prime Minister Porta Penagia’ in formal attire, maintaining a tradition dating back to 1900. The three-day event includes highlights like the famous risotto and a Shrove Saturday procession, concluding with the ‘assault on the cuccagna pole. Dates: 15-17.02.

16th of February

Zurich: From February 16 to 18, 2024, ZüriCarneval brings a vibrant atmosphere to the city with Guggen marching bands, parades, and lively bars. Hirschenplatz hosts the “Minira Guggestadl,” featuring Guggen bands playing Caribbean and Latin American music in a heated marquee, while Münsterhof offers a celebration with New Orleans jazz.

17th of February

Reinach BL: The Chäppelihäx, an integral part of Reinach’s Funggefüür and Chäppelihäx spring festival, brings back an ancient custom, blending traditional spring festivities and the legendary witch at Chäppeli. Occurring yearly on the weekend following Rynacher Fasnacht, this lively event sees the Chäppelihäx’s spirited return for a night of dancing, celebration, and vibrant spring customs, inviting both active participants and spectators to join the festivities.

Neuhausen: The Neuhauser Fasnacht 2024 unfolds with a Night March on Saturday, February 17, at 19:19, followed by lively revelry at the Beizenfasnacht lasting until the early morning. On Sunday, February 18, festivities include the Zunftmeister Reception at 12:12, a Warm-Up at 13:13, and the Fasnacht Parade featuring various Guggen, floats, and walking groups at 14:14, culminating in a Monster Concert at 15:33 on the Platz für Alli. The celebration continues on Monday, February 19, with Beizenfasnacht.

19th of February

Basel: The carnival in Basel is probably the biggest one in Switzerland! Taking place from the 19th to 21st of February. The large street parade called cortège takes place on Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Around 10,000 costumed Carnival revellers in formations of various sizes present their sujets (themes). Unlike the Morgestraich, the cortège is an event for all Fasnacht formations.

So I wish you all a wild month full of fun and festivities! and maybe we’ll even meet each other in one of the events!

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