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April 8, 2005
It starts in the morning at 4am, when all the lights are put out, and proceeds through several stages - some more open, some for children, and others in the restaurants and so on. You can find the date on the website: www.fasnacht.ch. You can also see more pictures, etc. (it's written in German).
From journal Basel - city at the border of three countries
June 22, 2003
Fastnacht in Basel starts at 4am. Large lantern are carried throughout the streets while traditional music is played. The participants wear masks and costumes. The lanterns are made every year and no lantern can be reused. This march is kind of like a unique parade. The leader of each group often takes them down side streets: just by motioning to the crowd they can part a group of people to make way. Many people go just to see the beginning and then leave so don't be discouraged if someone is in your way.
The following three days are full of activities. The Basel Tourist office will have a schedule of activities. For the most part, conffeti is tossed around wildly and bands play off beat music.
This is an amazing event. If it gets too crazy, you can always go on a side trip, which is one of the best things about Basel.
From journal The Switzerland no one talks about (but should)