The Lucerner Fasnacht, based on religious, Catholic backgrounds, starts every year on the Thursday before Aschermittwoch (Ash Wednesday) with a big bang at 5am called Morgenwacht (Morning Watch). There are big parades in the afternoon on Schmotzige Donnerstag (Lardy Thursday) and the following Monday, called Güdismontag (Paunch Monday), which attract tens of thousands of people.
Lucerne’s Carnival ends with a crowning finish on Güdisdienstag (Paunch Tuesday) evening with the Monstercorso, a tremendous parade of Guggenmusiken, lights and lanterns with even a larger audience.
Rather recently a fourth Fasnacht day has been introduced on the Saturday between the others Fasnacht days, the Rüüdige Samstag while mainly several indoor balls take place. From dusk till dawn on the evenings of Schmotzige Donnerstag, Güdismontag, and after the Monstercorso many bands wander through the historical part of the city playing typical Fasnacht tunes.
Until midnight, the historical part of the city usually is packed with people participating. A large part of the audience are also dressed up in costumes, even a majority in the evenings.
Being the cultural center of a rather rural region, Lucerne regularly holds different folklore festivals, such as Lucerne Cheese Festival, held annually.
Weekly Market (map). Every Thursday and Saturday from 06:00 to 13:00 along the Reuss river. The market has many local products and specialities.