Can you tell us a bit about the traditions here?
Fasnacht is unbeatable. Four o’clock on Fasnacht morning you have all these crowds here. At four o’clock everybody shuts up and all the lights go out. Then about 5,000 drums and about 15,000 piccolos start playing. You get goosepimples.
It’s in February or March every year and it’s where we use our dialect. We have the drums and the pipes; and we also have people going from restaurant to restaurant to sing a kind of limerick called ‘Schnitzelbank’ about local politics, sports, etc. And there’s always one verse, aimed at the people in Zürich, and another one aimed at the people in Germany! Here is an example someone posted on YouTube.
The best thing to do is to arrive early, about 3.15am, and stand up in front of the Historical Museum on Barfüsserplatz: Barfüsser means bare footed and refers to the bare footed Franciscan Monks. This is a good spot as it means you don’t get squashed.