Fasnacht… the Swiss Carnival…

Solothurn, the Swiss town we live in, just finished its annual Fasnacht celebrations on Wednesday.

What is Fasnacht? Well, it is simply the Swiss Carnival – the one time in the year in which the Swiss let loose and go a little lot crazy! Like carnival all over the world, it’s a time for costumes and loud music and drinking and parades and just plain good o’ fun. Of course, there is tradition to consider and tradition says that all this isn’t just fun. It has a purpose – to scare away winter. But traditions in Switzerland are very localised so here in Solothurn they may say “scare away winter”, somewhere else, they would say “Welcoming Spring” – potato, po-ta-toe 😉

i simply enjoy how people are so into this Fasnacht affair. They – the serious ones – prepare months in advance, planning costumes and rehearsing songs with their Guggen Music Bands. Then they take to the streets in the wee hours of morning and party for the next few days! However, i do not enjoy crowds so i watch from the comforts of my living room on the telly. Here are some photos (which others have taken) for you to enjoy. Also a video.

Actually, this year i did more than watch it on TV. i made a costume this year! The last costume i made was a number of years ago when we went as spectators to the Children’s Parade in Bern with a friend. i painted a cardboard box blue, added tails and wings and Tobias went as a plane.

This time at school, the 1st and 2nd grade teachers had planned a party for the kids so they were to go in costume. Guess who Tobias wanted to go as… here are a couple of pictures to help you figure it out…

Isn't he just a cutie in those poses?

That’s right – Harry Potter!

We went around town looking for pre-made costumes and found only one shop selling a Harry Potter outfit. But my oh my! The costs! If i had bought the whole set (cloak and glasses and wand), it would have set us back some CHF70/. There was no way i was going to spend so much on something which is most likely only going to be worn a couple of times. But i didn’t have time to make (we were going on ski holiday). So the compromise – we bought the cloak, i made the wand, Daddy popped the lens out of an old pair of glasses and there we have the Harry Potter look completed.

Here’s a close-up of the glasses and the home-made wand (it’s made out of paper and glue and paint – here’s how).

Homemade Harry Potter Glasses and Wand

i was really quite pleased with the whole costume. Tobias was the only Harry Potter at the party – he was chaffed 😉 He also got to actually go to the “real” parade with a friend (Mummy had to stay home and finish her overdue German homework).

i wonder what he’ll want to be next year…