Lucerne carnival - the fifth season

1 / 3
2 / 3
3 / 3

The fifth season begins in Lucerne even before the big bang at 5 a.m. on «Schmutzigen Donnerstag»: the carnival. The colourful spectacle delights thousands of people across the generations. With creative costumes and rousing Guggenmusik, people celebrate in the streets of the city and banish the winter.

During the Lucerne Carnival, the city comes to life when colourfully costumed people populate the streets, accompanied by the rhythmic sounds of the numerous Guggenmusik bands. The spectacle is officially opened with the big bang at 5 a.m. on "Schmutzigen Donnerstag". The fifth season ends on the following Ash Wednesday.

The carnival tradition goes back a long way and is passed down from generation to generation. The artistic motifs presented on the floats are particularly impressive and often contain humorous allusions to current events. The Lucerne Carnival is therefore not only a visual feast, but also a cultural journey through the history and tradition of this enchanting Swiss city. Immerse yourself in this unique experience and experience the Lucerne Carnival in all its colourful splendour!

Key carnival facts

The Lucerne Carnival is unlike any of the other carnival customs in Central Switzerland.

  • The Urknall «Big Bang» occurs in Kapellplatz at five in the morning of Schmutzig Thursday.
  • The first Lucerne parade (the Fritschi) starts at 1:45 p.m. at the Luzernerhof.
  • The final parade (the Wey) takes place the following Güdis Monday. This also starts at 1:45 p.m. at the Luzernerhof.
  • The giant Monstercorso parade takes place the following day on Güdis Tuesday. That starts at 7.30 p.m. in Bahnhofstrasse.

Timber bridges with carnival art

During those few wild days, Lucerne's bridge paintings are covered with plywood panels featuring carnival art. The carnival art displayed in the gable of the Chapel and Spreuer Bridges is created by the various carnival groups; the plywood serves to protect the historical paintings underneath.


Lucerne's carnival date is based on the centuries-old "Catholic" carnival. In AD 325, the First Council of Nicaea decreed that Easter should occur on the first Sunday following the beginning of spring. The previous Sunday is Palm Sunday. Forty (fasting) days before that, Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent. The days leading up to Ash Wednesday are when Carnival takes place: According to Cantonal law these are Dirty Thursday, Fat Monday and Tuesday.



Location and contact

Lozärner Fasnachtskomitee
Alpenstrasse 1
6004 Luzern
+41 (0)41 417 20 08