Fasnacht 4: Lanterns

…continued from Fasnacht 3

Oh my goodness I forgot to publish this post! Sorry for the extended delay!

The last major part of Fasnacht are the lanterns. Each clique picks a sujet (theme or subject) that is reflected in the groups’ costumes as well as the lanterns they cart around during Morgestraicht.

Lantern during Morgestraich

Generally the sujets act as social commentary on what is going on in the country and the world. For example, this year the BP oil spill came up as the theme in group after group, as did pedophile Priests and the issue of banning the veil in public places which was a big debate in Europe. On Tuesday night during the carnival all the lanterns end up in the Munsterplatz for everyone to see and it ends up being like a giant outdoor art exhibition. You can walk along and look at the similarities and differences between lanterns, and admire the handiwork as they are truly works of art in and of themselves.

Sujet: BP oil spill

Pedophilia scandal in the Catholic Church

I'm not sure what the lantern in the middle represents (it's cool tho, amiright?) but the one on the far left is about the banning of wearing the veil in public

Another priest sex scandal sujet on the right

This one says "L'eclat c'est moi" / Liberte / Sarkozyte / Roma Ade/ - addressing Sarkozy's attempt at persecuting the Roma population of France

Not really sure, but I think it's saying that Switzerland's banking industry means that Switzerland is not actually neutral

More veil ban and the Munster in the background

And the Greeks make an appearance. With a Swiss owl on Zeus's shoulder.

And finally, as much of the lineup I could get in one frame!

I’ve noticed that a few lantern canvases from Fastnachts past end up in the weekly Saturday flohmarkt (fleamarket) in Petersplatz and for a couple hundred Swiss Francs you can buy one for yourself if you so choose.

I think it would be completely fascinating to compare and contrast what the sujets would be in other countries and cultures. If you were to pick a few sujets to represent the major social/political/world themes of the past year, what would you choose?

This one’s for you Dad!


About Petunia

She wore rings on her fingers and bells on her shoes And I knew without asking she was into the blues She wore scarlet begonias tucked into her curls I knew right away she was not like other girls ~The Grateful Dead
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2 Responses to Fasnacht 4: Lanterns

  1. RW says:

    I was always under the impression that the Swiss were a more conservative-leaning collection of folks. By the look at the messages in the lanterns, though, I’m far off. I guess it’s not good to pigeonhole people, but am I wrong in thinking that the Swiss are mostly very reserved and conservative? I’d be happy to be wrong.

    • Petunia says:

      Based on my experience thus far i would say Swiss culture not conservative overall. Well, maybe about some things, but in the end I think it’s all about how society’s views are expressed. So far it’s been difficult to pin it down one way or the other. For example, laws on drug possession here are very lax, but all the public holidays are based on religious holidays like Whit Monday and Assumption of Mary that I didn’t even know existed. Everyone is very into local food production and sustainable agriculture, but society is also quite xenophobic and openly blames all the problems of the country on the immigrants from Eastern Europe. That last bit is changing with the new generation, but still it’s solidly there. In the end I guess I’m not sure where to place the country along the liberal-conservative spectrum, at least in terms of what that means in the US. Maybe after I’m there longer I will figure it out and will let you know!

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