Stories

Chienbäse

  • December 12, 2017

Chienbäse is a Fasnacht (carnival) tradition of Liestal, Switzerland. On the Sunday night after Ash Wednesday, the night before the Morgestraich in Basel city, a procession begins of people carrying burning bundles of pinewood chips (called Chienbäse, the Alemannic German for “pinewood besom”) through the medieval town center along the Rathausstrasse, entering through the city gate from the south. In more recent decades the Chienbäse have been augmented with carts carrying bonfires, with flames often reaching as high as the houses. The parade is attended by thousands of spectators from Switzerland as well as from countries around the globe, closely packed on either side of the small street.