Kienbesenzug in Liestal (BL)

Liestal

Liestaler Wettercam Schleifenberg

Liestaler Wettercam Schleifenberg

Liestal mit Blick nach Basel Sankt Chrischona

Liestal mit Blick nach Basel Sankt Chrischona

Liestal

Liestal

Sunday after Ash Wednesday

In many areas of Basel-Country, bone-fires and torch-light parades form the prelude to carnival, which coincides with the one being celebrated by the city of Basel. In the small town of Liestal, a most spectacular form of this prelude has become famous in its own right, partly owing to the fact that is is performed at various festivals.

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A group of fifers and drummers, along with lantern bearers, march in the traditional Basel manner. They are followed by men and some women wearing special robes and carrying huge torches made from pinewood, some weighing nearly 50 kg. The participants, most of them members of the sports club, have prepared their own torches during the previous weeks.

Between the torch-bearers, iron wagons filled with waste wood are pulled along in full blaze. In the narrow darkened alleys, the torches and blazing wagons give off an eerie glow. Despite the original character of the custom, it only goes back as far as 1924. At that time, members of the sports club built torches according to an old tradition. These torches were carried through the streets and gradually superseded the children's torch and lantern procession. The famous fire wagons originated in the 1930s, but they were so dangerous at the time, that they were officially allowed only in 1962.

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