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Fasnacht 2021

Fasnacht is known as Lucerne’s fifth season, it is a time when the whole town transforms itself into a loud, shrill, colourful, festive party. Something that many look forward to and plan all year round. But Covid-19 has put paid to any big celebrations this year, and the government has put rules and regulations in place making it virtually impossible to celebrate. So how will Fasnacht 2021 look like and what is allowed exactly?

The Covid-19 R reproduction rate is going up again and the government is desperate to keep the number of cases down until enough people have been vaccinated so they have asked the police to be extra vigilant and the town is calling its citizens to forgo any Fasnacht activity.

Fasnacht would officially begin on February 11th at 5 a.m. and last until the following Tuesday, but all the Fasnacht groups have cancelled their events. So no parades, no concerts, no floating bars with music until the early hours. Basically nothing will be happening officially. How about unofficially?

Are you allowed to go into town dressed up? In theory you would be allowed to walk around town dressed up in a silly costume anytime of the year. If you do decide to do so be sure to wear a proper protective mask (even under your Fasnacht mask) if you can’t keep the 1m5 distance to others.

Can I play music with four other people downtown? No, definitely not. Any kind of events are forbidden regardless of the number of people involved, so even masked and keeping a safe distance, you are not allowed to play music. You are not even allowed to go around and play music on your own, because as soon as a couple of people stop to listen, it becomes a gathering which is forbidden.

Can I walk around with my decorated cart and meet up with 4 other people for a drink? No, still counts as an unauthorised event.

If I’m partying away at home with my family, can I make noise after 10 p.m.? After all it’s Fasnacht! Nope, still not allowed. You have to keep to the noise rules i.e. no noise disturbing neighbours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

How much could it cost me to ignore the rules? Anywhere between CHF 50.- and CHF 200.- depending on what infraction you commit.

So what can I do? Eat Fasnachtchuechli, watch replays of previous Fasnacht parades on Tele 1. Get dressed up with your family and dance around the living room (no later than 10 p.m.) and dream of Fasnacht 2022!!!

Charlie Hartmann is the managing director of the Livingin organisation which focuses on helping international residents connect, grow and thrive in Switzerland.