Today was “shmutzige Donnschtig” (dirty Thursday) and the first day of our carnival season in Solothurn (Fassnacht) which ends next week on Wednesday. Solothurn is the town just down the road. It begins at 6.00 in the morning, so the people in our village have to depart at 5.00 in the morning to arrive in Solothurn in time. It is a very special sort of thing. Those taking part this morning have to wear a long white nightdress with a red necktie and a white nightcap preferably with a tassle. They carry anything with them that makes noise and they really make noise. This morning there were 6,000 people on the procession through the town. It is all very organised with the chief Chesslete man leading the procession and everyone following.
After the procession everyone visits the local restaurants, if there is still room, and eat flour soup and warm cheese cakes. It is all in the name of tradition. Me, as english person, had never known carnival. I am not a friend of it, too much noise and too much excitement, but those that grow up with it have it in their system. Anyhow here is a YouTube film of this morning’s procession with all the trimmings. You will not understand very much as it is all in Swiss German, but I am sure the pictures will be something completely different.