The Fasnacht Series: Chienbäse

This is the third instalment in my blog series on Fasnacht. What’s Fasnacht, you ask? Read here and here to find out.

The Chienbäse parade takes place in neigbouring Liestal on the evening of the Sunday before Basel’s Morgenstreich. The parade has its origins in pagan fire rituals meant to drive winter away, where large fires (representing the sun) were lit on the mountain tops to bring the sun’s warmth down to the village.

Nowadays, massive “brooms” made from kindling wood are lit on fire and carried by volunteers through the centre of Liestal. This is a mean feat – there are about 200 of these fiery brooms, and they can weigh up to 100kg each!

In addition to the brooms, about 20 wagons loaded with burning wood are pulled along the route. The flames can reach a few stories high, and the entire procession is a spectacular sight to watch.

Words don’t do it justice, so I hope you can get a better idea here:

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