The Low-Down on the 2023 Fasnacht
Following three cancelled or limited editions, the fabulous Basel Fasnacht finally was back—and fabulous it was! There was no rain to put a damper on the mood, and although the temperatures were a little cold, the atmosphere and mood were definitely warm. The themes were predominantly dark this time around—the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, energy-shortages, disrupted supply chains, and climate change, to name a few. However, humorous topics like the Tesla-police car mishaps, cultural appropriation, and the Schwingfest in Pratteln, managed to weave their way in.
Considering what a HUGE event it is, it ended up being another mostly peaceful festival with only very few disturbances, as the organizers and public services report.
- The police were called to about a dozen altercations—not a lot when you consider that the event lasted 3 days and involved tens of thousands of participants and spectators, as well as undoubtedly a lot of alcohol.
- There was one report of a missing/stolen mask as well as a further seven thefts. In contrast to other years, no drums were reported missing.
- The police had to take care of 32 kids who got separated from their guardians in the crowds and were supervised at a police post until they could be reunited with their parents.
- Ambulances were called to 25 Fasnacht-related incidents, which ranged from falls and health problems to the consequence of excessive alcohol consumption. One person had to sleep off their intoxication at a police station!
- In order to clear the way for the parade, 216 bicycles and 3 cars needed to be removed.
- And just after Fasnacht ended at 4:00 on Thursday, the fire department had to put out a burning lantern in Kleinbasel—luckily, the lantern could at least be used throughout the carnival!
So, while public services certainly were kept busy, these statistics demonstrate that overall the Basel Fasnacht is a safe and peaceful tradition and an event that you definitely should experience at least once!
Of course, the event was less peaceful for the public works department, whose workers for 3 days had to work late at night or early in the morning to clear the roads in the town center from bottles, cups, boxes—and above all, tons and tons of Räppli (confetti) so that by 6:00, the first trams could pass through the town center again. On Thursday morning, after the official “Endstreich” at 4:00, about 280 workers with 110 vehicles were busy with brooms, shovels, large and small street sweepers of all kinds, small trucks, and even snowplows to clear the main streets. Overall, they removed over 230 tons of trash! But despite their best efforts, chances are you will find leftover Räppli in the streets, stuck to your shoes, and in your clothes for several more weeks.
Even though the the main Basel Fasnacht is over for this year, you can still get some more Fasnacht feeling over the next couple of weeks. For one, there are the “Bummelsonntage” on the next the Sundays, when many of the Cliques march through town in the afternoon without their costumes but still playing their music (https://www.basellife.com/event/fasnacht-bummelsonntage-strolling-sundays).
Also, this weekend and even next week, several communities around Basel are still organizing after-Fasnacht (“Cherus”) events/balls or Guggemusik concerts, including Liestal and Gelterkinden. And then it will finally be really, really all over—until the next Morgenstreich on February 19, 2024, at 04:00!Share