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Carnival in Lucerne

The Lucerne Carnival is unique in its historical development and its wild variety of expression. Colourful costumes cross the bridges from all directions and on the Kornmarkt, old and young alike jump around, clap and dance to the various rhythms of the "Guggenmusigen". There will be no rest until Ash Wednesday and the end of the carnival!

The three rüüdig days in Lucerne

During that time, Lucerne's Old Town is transformed into one big festival site. People celebrate, make and enjoy music, and dance. A loud explosion (the Urknall or «Big Bang») at five in the morning of Schmutzig Thursday marks the start of the proceedings. All is quiet again the following Ash Wednesday, which is forty days before Palm Sunday.

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4 things you have to experience at the carnival

We help you make sense of the carnival-tide chaos and point up the must-see events.

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Carnival events

The villages of the Lucerne – Lake Lucerne Region have very different ways of celebrating carnival in terms of customs, traditions, music and costumes.

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The origins of carnival go back a long way – to the Middle Ages. The Catholic Church used the fasting period of Lent in the Middle Ages to show the faithful how Jesus suffered. 

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