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ENGINEERING BULLETIN

Publisher: All-Russian public organization "Academy of Engineering Sciences named after A.M. Prokhorov".

Carnival in Lucerne (Lozärner Fasnacht) - February, 2013 - part 1

# 02, February 2013

Lozärner Fasnacht-2013.

Luzern’s six-day all-in carnival, ending on Mardi Gras night, is the biggest and best in Switzerland. Celebrations are focused around three “official” carnival days.

The Thursday before Mardi Gras is dubbed Schmotzig Donnschtig, or Dirty Thursday; the following Monday is Güdis Määntig, or Fat Monday; while Mardi Gras itself (Fat Tuesday) is Güdis Tseeschtig.

Luzern’s carnival is centred on the figure of Fritschi, mentioned as early as 1443 and later subsumed into the legends surrounding a victory at the Battle of Ragaz on March 6, 1446.

Originally Fritschi was a lifesize straw doll carried through Luzern accompanied by Fritschene, his “wife”; these days a costumed couple take their place. Around the middle of the eighteenth century, the two were joined on parade by a nanny, a jester named Bajazzo and some musicians.

To this day, Fritschi begins Luzern’s carnival, at 5am on the morning of Dirty Thursday, when he and his entourage lean out of an upper window of the Rathaus on Kornmarkt as a cannon signals the start of festivities.

From breakfast time onwards, bands of masked and costumed musicians, dancers and acrobats roam the Old Town streets, some performing Guggenmusig – comical oompah played on a handful of dented trombones and percussion – while others set up stages to give impromptu gigs to the promenading costumed crowds.

The highlight of the day is the evening Fritschi parade, where Fritschi, Fritschene and the rest are paraded through the Old Town and around Löwenplatz, all the while flinging oranges out to carousing onlookers.

(switzerland.isyours.com)


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