Fasnacht: Dirty Thursday

If you had been standing on the street in Zug yesterday you might have thought it was Halloween:

or Día de los Muertos:

Nope, it was just a freezing day in February when the Swiss go nuts. Fasnacht is Carnival in the German-speaking areas of Switzerland. And Dirty Thursday (Schmutziger Donnerstag) the Thursday before Lent, is the Carnival kick-off. Most cities have parades, and Zug was no exception.
Could she BEE any cuter?
Dressed up and drinking. (Drinking age is 16)

And everyone in between lined the streets in costumes to watch the parade.

There were a lot of bands:
Blowing horns...
...playing drums...

...and don't forget the (fur trimmed) tubas!

Listen to these guys:

But the littlest among us used ear protection:
Whether they were in the parade...
...or watching (not the parade.)
There was "royalty", too. This is the 'Prince' of this year's Fasnacht:
He is a local farmer.

with his 'Princesses':
I think they were his wife...
...and daughter.

Plus some fancy guys with furry hats handing out flowers:
I scored three blooms just standing on the sidewalk!

There were a few floats:
Birthday cake...
...followed by little cupcakes.

An Indigenous People float... 
...with a native American band? See the guy with the full headdress?
My favorite was the 'school' of jellyfish:
Luckily they didn't look like they would sting.
I think the favorite part for the kids watching on the street was the massive amount of confetti they got to throw and have thrown at them. I've never seen the streets of Zug so littered!
Throwing it at an adult (clown) is fun!
Scraping it off the street to throw again.

At one point I got caught taking a picture of a Viking...
And was forced to take a selfie with a stranger.

Joe was at work and Mo was at school (the local schools are on holiday, but the International school is in session until next week) so I went to the parade alone. Nothing like being surrounded by several hundred people to make you feel lonely. But alas, I had protection:
This little guy stood by my side.

Here's my poem about venturing out alone:
Snippets of conversations
in words I can not 
yet understand
mingle with the confetti
to swirl around me
but never land
on me.

I stand solo 
among the

©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.


  1. It’s crazy to see you so bundled up rather than shorts in the dead of Tucson’s winter!

    Ps Much tamer than Nawlins

    1. Yes, the weather here is significantly colder than Tucson (understatement) which is not necessarily a bad thing, though I am looking forward to Spring. And yes, this parade was NOTHING compared to NO! The Swiss get wild in their own low-key conservative way. Thanks for 'hanging out' with me at the parade, Sheila!


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