Basel Fasnacht recognized by Unesco as ‘intangible heritage’
Switzerland’s biggest annual carnival, the Fasnacht in Basel, was on Thursday inscribed onto Unesco’s list of intangible heritage.
The decision was taken at the 12th session of the Intergovernmental committee for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage on Jeju island in South Korea on Thursday.
The committee meets once a year to discuss applications to the intangible cultural heritage of humanity list, which aims to raise awareness about the importance of living traditions and cultural festivities.
According to a Swiss government statement Unesco considered the application of Basel Fasnacht as “exemplary”.
A part of Swiss culture for centuries, Basel’s carnival attracts some 200,000 spectators every year.
It kicks off at 4am on the Monday after Ash Wednesday with the Morgenstreich, a lantern procession in the dark, and continues until the Thursday with parades, musical ‘cliques’ and partying in the streets.
On its website, Unesco said Fasnacht “contributes to social cohesion, promotes tolerance through social criticism and helps safeguard the local dialect”.
“The carnival has been successfully safeguarded over past decades thanks to measures taken by the communities as well as the authorities’ constant support,” it added.
Fasnacht joins Vevey’s Fête des Vignerons on the intangible heritage list.
The huge winegrowers’ festival, which takes place only once every 20 years, was inscribed on the list last year.
The two events were among a list of eight that the Swiss government intends to successively submit to Unesco for inclusion on the intangible heritage list.
The others include yodelling, watchmaking, Easter processions in Mendrisio, alpine livestock traditions and the Helvetica font.
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