It started out like any other Thursday.
Wake up, make coffee, get ready for work..
But as I turned the corner, I nearly collided with a brightly-colored, metallic-looking, frilly, enormous dress and a ridiculous hat, similar to this:
Then there was this:
Mmhmm, Fasnacht had arrived.
I missed it last year, this crazy February festival when the Swiss lose the rules (what??), dress in elaborate, often homemade costumes, and have a 5 day party.
But I wasn't going to miss it this year! This year, I donned my (not homemade and not even mine) frog costume and joined the fun.
Everywhere you went, people were dancing in the streets, throwing confetti in your face, and having a great time. Considering how quiet and reserved the Swiss normally are, it felt like entering the twilight zone for a few days. Costumes ranged from simple to "how in the world did they come up with that?"
Bands were playing everywhere you looked. We found one group wearing giant cat head masks, so we asked to try them on...
We also made friends with another band. One of them disappeared into nowhere and left his drum kit on the ground, so I decided to help them out.
We encountered balloon people and lighthouses, Super Mario, and every animal imaginable. There were vikings and creepy masks, kings and queens, and costumes that just didn't make any sense. For five days everything you think you know about this country is suspended.
And then just like that, it's over.
The confetti disappears, normal clothes make their comeback, and the streets are quiet, like nothing had ever happened. And everyone starts planning for next year...
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.