Chienbaese Liestal 2018

Event Dates: 
18 February, 2018 - 19:15

The Chienbäse in Liestal just before Basel Fasnacht is a fantastic event - an archaic fire spectacle to mark the beginning of spring. Definitely worth seeing at least once!

Chienbäse takes place on the Sunday night after Ash Wednesday, the night before Morgestraich in Basel. The procession includes people carrying burning bundles of pinewood chips (called "Chienbäse", or "pinewood besom") through the medieval town centre along the Rathausstrasse, entering through the city gate. Apart from the Chienbäse, you also have huge carts carrying bonfires, with flames often reaching as high as the houses.

If you stand in the Rathausstrasse below the city gate, you'll see the huge carts being pulled through at high speed, with flames and sparks shooting up into the sky - spectacular!

The narrow Rathausstrasse is usually packed, so get there early for a good spot - I recommend getting there around 6 p.m., even if that means having to wait around for an hour. The huge carts with their massive fires are very, very hot, so if you're in the first row, look out! Wear your oldest clothes, non-flammable obviously (no synthetic materials), because sparks really do fly and will land on your coat. Protect your head with a hat. You'll be covered in soot and smell of smoke by the end of the event. It's mad and medieval and not to be missed.

The event kicks off at 7:15 p.m.: first the street lights are switched off, just as at Morgestraich; then the Liestal Cliques and Gugge parade down the street; and then the Chienbäse and fire carts procession begins. Here is a map of the route through Liestal.

Take the train; don't go by car, as you won't find any parking space. There are extra trains to and from Liestal all evening and it's only a 10-15 minute journey.

When: Sun 18 February 2018, 19:15

Where: Liestal town centre

- Anna Wirz