Thousands of revelers gathered in the early hours on Thursday to ring in carnival season in Switzerland.
In Lucerne, 15,000 people crowded into the Old Town for the 5am blast and confetti shower, which featured 5.3 million scraps of paper. Dressed in elaborate costumes, brass bands provided the soundtrack.
The Luzerner Fasnachtexternal link – as it is called in German – runs for nine days. Carnival in Switzerland typically begins on “Dirty Thursday” – the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. However, Basel holds its carnival after Lent.
Also early on Thursday morning, several thousand carnival-lovers in Solothurn rang bells and blew horns to kick off the festivities. The party will continue in other central Swiss communities, and also in cantons Aargau, St Gallen and Ticino.