Where the Bear Dances

It’s carnival time in Bern.

A carnival that is trying to create tradition. 
Until the 15th century, Bern celebrated carnival with plenty of theatre, probably much more alcohol and quite a bit of fighting. Of course, someone had to get upset and carnival was cancelled.
So until 1982, Bern didn’t have a carnival. By the time it was reinstated, the old traditions had been lost.
Carnival in Bern now, also called Fasnacht, is anything but traditional. Unlike Basel, with it’s flutes and drums, Luzern with it’s fancy masks and Lötschental with it’s terrifying Tschäggete, Bern has music.
And a bear. Of course, Bern has a bear.
The bear goes to “sleep” in November, on the 11th of November at 11 past 11, the carnival season officially starts but in the evening, the bear is sent to bed in the Käfigturm and is woken up on the Thursday after Ash Wednesday.
The bear is awake
 The music starts and the party begins.

The musicians walk along the cobbled stone streets, followed by butterflies…


and clowns…
Frivolity reigns, the streets are strewn with confetti. No one cares about the rain, no one minds that it is cold. For three nights, Bern is alive.

So we danced in the rain, and for a little while, we became someone else. We went to a world where nothing matters but the music…

Fasnacht Music

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