Chienbäse – carnival parade

Customs Basel Region

The Chienbäse is a carnival event that takes place on the Sunday evening after Ash Wednesday in Liestal in the canton of Basel-Country. This traditional celebration is known for the fact that burning “brooms” made of pine logs are carried through the picturesque old town of Liestal. These burning “brooms” can reach a weight of 20 to 100 kg and create an impressive spectacle.

The highlight of the Chienbäse event are the 20 or so fire floats that play a prominent role in the procession. These iron wagons carry several tons of burning wood and create an impressive spectacle of flames. The flames that flare up after passing through Liestal’s Obertor are particularly spectacular.

This impressive event attracts tens of thousands of people from all over Switzerland and even from neighboring countries every year. The roots of this custom go back more than 200 years if you look at historical chronicles. As early as the 19th century, bonfires were lit on the heights of Burg and Weisse Fluh on Funkensonntag.

However, the actual Chienbäse parade, as it is known today, was only started after the First World War by Eugen Stutz, a baker from Liestal. Initially started as a small parade with schoolchildren, it was held on a larger scale from 1924 and has since developed into an important cultural event.


A short video showing the amazing fire parade – Chienbaese – as part of the Liestal Fasnacht (carnival) in March 2017. It gets hot!

Chienbaese (fire festival), Liestal carnival

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