15.02.2024 - 17.02.2024 Berner Fasnacht (Carnival in Bern)

“Guggenmusig” (carnival bands) and “Schnitzelbank” verses, theatre ensembles and costume clubs – during carnival, Switzerland’s capital is loud and colourful and merry.

The kick-off to Bern’s carnival is at 11:11 a.m. on 11 November, when the city’s carnival bear is locked up in the Käfigturm (Prison Tower) to hibernate – an event that is properly celebrated with the traditional “Gugge Party”.

But the real party takes place on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday (in 2023, this will be on 15 February). On this day, the bear is awakened and released from its Käfigturm hibernation – and carnival begins. First lively highlights include food, drink and music on Münsterplatz square and the Guggenmusik bands in Rathausgasse alley.

On the afternoon of Friday, it’s the little carnival fans’ turn: at 2:30 p.m., there’s a children’s parade in the lower part of Zeughausgasse alley. With a creative motto, of course! Every year, it revolves around a different theme. At 10 p.m., a torchlight procession in Untere Junkerngasse alley brings light into the darkness before the “Witches’ Carnival” at the Gerechtigkeitsbrunnen fountain concludes the exciting second day of carnival.

The third day of carnival on 17 February 2024 also has a lot to offer – there’s the “poetic carnival” in the lower part of the Old City and the “Gassen-Theater” (outdoor theatre) in front of the Kreuzgassbrunnen fountain in Kramgasse alley, among other events. The performances begin at 10:00 a.m., followed by the “silent carnival” at the Zähringerbrunnen fountain at 11:30 a.m., where humorous “Schnitzelbank” verses are recited. The grand finale takes place at 2:30 p.m.: the cheerful procession through the alleys of Bern. The subsequent “Monsterkonzert” (monster concert) on Parliament Square rounds off the varied programme and ends Bern’s carnival with a bang.

  • Plaquettes

    Access to Bern’s carnival is free of charge. If you would like to support the wide range of activities and offers, the Guggenmusik bands and the various people involved, you can do so by purchasing a bronze, silver, or gold plaquette.

    Prices
    Bronze plaquette CHF 7.00
    Silver plaquette CHF 20.00
    Gold plaquette CHF 100.00

    The plaquettes can be purchased online or at the Tourist Information in Bern’s main station, among other places.

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