Thomas Brenzikofer

Thomas Brenzikofer

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Basler Fasnacht (img: Friedrich Reinhardt Verlag)

Basler Fasnacht (img: Friedrich Reinhardt Verlag)


UNESCO recognizes Basel Fasnacht as intangible heritage

Basel Fasnacht was on Thursday inscribed onto UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage of humanity list. The decision underlines the importance of the Basel dialect.

UNESCO described the application of Basel Fasnacht as “exemplary”, according to the Federal Office of Culture (BAK).

The carnival’s inscription onto the representative list strengthens the “visibility of intangible cultural heritage in urban areas”, BAK added.

At the same time as inscribing Basel Fasnacht onto the list on Thursday on Jeju Island in South Korea, UNESCO approved the corresponding preservation measures.

To encourage the participation of young people, there are moves to promote junior musicians as drummers and pipers, as well as to create educational material for schools in Basel.

Around 20,000 people participate in Basel’s carnival, which attracts some 200,000 spectators. Alongside music provided by drums, pipes and “Gugggenmusiken”, there is a focus on oral expression during the “Schnitzelbänke” songs and on handicrafts in the shape of lanterns, masks and costumes.

BAK highlighted that Basel Fasnacht shapes the city and is present in many areas across society, the economy and politics.

BAK applied to inscribe the carnival in the intangible heritage list last year. Basel Fasnacht joins Vevey’s Fête des Vignerons as the second Swiss tradition on the list.   

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