Overview

  • Contact

    Luzern Tourismus AG
    Zentralstrasse 5
    6002 Luzern
    Phone +41 (0)41 227 17 17
    luzern.com

Intro

Dirty Thursday till Carnival Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday. The origins of the Lucerne Carnival, the celebration of which practically rules the town for a few days, are marked by the figure of Fritschi, an elderly man with his wife known as the Fritschene, and the Fritschikind, or Fritschi's child.

While the name Fritschi probably derives from Fridolin, the origin and meaning of the figure are not so easy to determine. What's certain is that Fritschi can be traced back to the fifteenth century, when he used to be a straw puppet and probably the symbolic figure of one of the guilds.

The Fritschi family rides in a wagon and has been accompanied over the centuries by a parade. If the parade once symbolized patriotic, historical, or folkloristic themes, it now has a more satirical twist. In the 1920s, the Fritschi group found a rival in the newly-formed Wey Guild, who adopted the figure of a frog as the main character of their satirical parade. Today, the Fritschi parade takes place on Dirty Thursday, one week before Ash Wednesday, whereas the Wey parade takes place on Carnival Monday and the final evening, complete with a monster concert, on Shrove Tuesday. These events are the highlights of the colorful merrymaking.

A major attraction of the Lucerne Carnival are the Guggemuusige, or improvised (masked) bands. They are dressed-up and masked or made-up carnival cliques who play well-known tunes on their brass and percussion instruments, rather loudly and not really in tune. The first of these groups was formed around 1950, taking its example from Basel. In the meantime, their number has increased to a few dozen. Unlike their counterparts in Basel, they do not march through the street in strict formation, but make frequent stops, acting out scenes and mingling with the crowd. There are also many individuals or small groups disguised and playing a musical instrument, or pulling a practical joke to liven things up. The masked balls attract huge crowds and are held in large venues in the evenings.

More information

The content presented here is provided and updated by regional/local tourist offices or event organisers, which is why Switzerland Tourism is unable to guarantee the correctness of the contents.

Contact

Luzern Tourismus AG
Zentralstrasse 5
6002 Luzern
Switzerland

Phone +41 (0)41 227 17 17
luzern@luzern.com
luzern.com

Contact

Luzern Tourismus AG
Zentralstrasse 5
6002 Luzern
Phone +41 (0)41 227 17 17
luzern.com

  • Lucerne Short Lake Cruise

    Alpine adventure Board one of our venerable paddle steamers or modern motor vessels in Lucerne and... from CHF 22.50
    Offer details

    Without overnight stay
    valid: 04.07.2020 - 16.08.2020

    Learn more about Short Lake Cruise
  • Lucerne Book and enjoy

    1 night, 1 Night in Premium room, breakfast buffet, 1 x 3 course evening meal without drinks on arrival date... from CHF 399
    Offer details

    Superior room
    valid: 01.11.2019 - 30.12.2019

    Learn more about Book and enjoy
  • Lucerne Discover Lucerne - Lake Lucerne Region

    Tell-Pass – unrestricted travel on trains, buses, boats and aerial cableways throughout the Lake... from CHF 180
    Offer details

    Without overnight stay
    valid: 07.10.2019 - 31.10.2019

    Learn more about Discover Lucerne - Lake Lucerne Region
  • Sörenberg Discover the wild nature of the mountains

    1 night, 1 Night in tent , Full-board, Guided horseback riding tour per person per stay (for good riders),... from CHF 550
    Offer details

    tent
    valid: 07.10.2019 - 31.10.2019

    Learn more about Discover the wild nature of the mountains
  • Kriens Observe animals in the wild

    1 night, Departure: Kriens oder Alpnachstad, Destination: Pilatus Kulm, 1 Night in Double room, breakfast... from CHF 259
    Offer details

    Price per person in double room
    valid: 07.10.2019 - 16.10.2019

    Learn more about Observe animals in the wild
  • Kriens Romantic stay

    1 night, 1 Night in Double room, Half-board, Aperitif per person per night, A bottle of champagne per person... from CHF 298
    Offer details

    Price per person in double room
    valid: 07.10.2019 - 31.12.2019

    Learn more about Romantic stay
  • Kriens Peaks experience

    1 night, 1 Night in Double room, breakfast buffet, 1 x 4 course evening meal on arrival date per person per... from CHF 180
    Offer details

    Price per person in double room
    valid: 07.10.2019 - 31.10.2019

    Learn more about Peaks experience
  • Kriens Winter Special with free return cable car journey

    1 night, Covered in a blanket of snow with the freshest of air – this sums up Lucerne’s local mountain in... from CHF 240
    Offer details

    Single room
    valid: 01.11.2019 - 30.04.2020

    Learn more about Winter Special with free return cable car journey
  • Weggis Stay for 4 nights, pay for 3

    4 nights, 4 Nights in Double room, Half-board, e-bike hire per person per night, Welcome drink, Afternoon tea... from CHF 1,200
    Offer details

    Price per person in double room
    valid: 07.10.2019 - 16.12.2019

    Learn more about Stay for 4 nights, pay for 3

Discover Lucerne