Basel’s Fasnacht Badges

We now know that Basel’s spectacular carnival (the Basler Fasnacht) can take place this coming March 7-9, although in a somewhat limited form, and some of the details are still unclear due to the short notice since the coronavirus-related restrictions have been lifted. For example, for the third year in a row, it will unfortunately not be possible to hold the large parades on the Monday and Wednesday, which normally draw tens of thousands participants and spectators into town because there is simply not enough time for the groups to prepare, especially their large and elaborate wagons. However, at least the Morgenstreich at 04:00 on Monday, March 7, and the unorganized roaming through the streets (“Gässele”) will be possible.

What also is available is the annual Fasnacht badge, which represents the main source of income for the various Fasnacht groups (Cliques) that so lovingly, and with great expense, create their imaginative costumes, masks, and wagons each year. At the end of 2021, the organizing committee presented the new design of the 2022 Fasnacht badge. It features an older drum major standing on a scale who, over the course of the pandemic, has gained quite a bit of weight. He is now finding that he doesn’t quite fit into his costume, which has been cobbled together from leftover accessories (such as brushes for the epaulettes of his uniform jacket or the toilet paper role instead of a badge—a subtle nod to last year’s badge design and the “toilet paper crisis” from the beginning of the pandemic). The associated motto, “Bassts no?” (Does it still fit?) refers not only to the drum major’s costume but also to the many questions that we are still dealing with from the pandemic and its effects. The design and motto, chosen among 129 entries in this year’s competition, was created by Basel artist Kurt Walter—the fifth time that he has won the competition.

The badges are available in 4 versions: copper (CHF 9), silver (CHF 18), gold (CHF 45), Bijou pendant and/or needle (CHF 100). They will go on sale in January and will be available directly from the Fasnacht Cliques, at certain Kiosks, and from numerous street vendors (you will hear them call “Blaggedde! Blaggedde!”)