Parade in Singen
Fastnacht/Fasnet takes place on the weekend before the beginning of the Lent. The exact dates change every year according to the Easter date, it's around the weekend 7 weeks before Easter. The so-called High Days last from Thursday to Tuesday.If your calendar does not show the dates, look up the Easter date (which changes every year as it's the Sunday after the first full moon after the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere). Count back to the 7th Sunday before Easter, this is the main weekend.
Activities do not run all five days long at the same level. Most places have one or two main days. You'll have to check individually when activities are on in the place you are interested in. One has to know when to be where.
- Schmotziger Dunschtig ("Greasy Thursday"): The first of the High Days. Activities include unearthing or awakening of the Fastnacht, jesters take the town hall keys from the mayor, and similar. Hemdglunker in the evening: people are out wearing white nightshirts and nightcaps.
- Fasnetfridig (Friday) and Fasnetsamschdig (Saturday): Kids' parades in many places, generally few activities in public with a few exceptions, like Überlingen with the Hänselejuck on Saturday night. Balls and other events in the evenings.
- Fasnetsunndig (Sunday 7 weeks before Easter): Fasnet in full swing everywhere.
- Fasnetmendig (Monday) is THE day. In the cities on the Rhine it's called Rosenmontag ("Rose Monday").
- Fasnetzyschdig (Tuesday): the last of the High Days. Parades and activities all day long. In the evening, either when the evening bell rings (Rottweil) or no later than midnight, everything is over. Many places have symbolic ceremonies like burning, burying or drowning "the Fasnet" in the shape of, for example, a straw puppet.
- Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday): It's over. A true catholic jester goes to mass that morning for repentence and prayer. Afterwards, the guilds have meals that respect the fasting rules of the Lent, i. e. fish, soup, snails, frog legs and similar tasty dishes. In some places people publicly wash their empty purses at the fountain in market square.
- Buurefasnet: takes place one week later. Some areas celebrate their Fastnacht on this later date. Best known example is Basel, but also on the German side of the „Rhine knee“ activities reach their climax on the weekend after Ash Wednesday.