Basel. Martinsplatz, am Montag 7. März 2022, 04.00. Foto/Photo: TES.

The Basler Fasnacht 2022

On 27 February 2020, the Bundesrat/Conseil fédéral (the national government) and the canton of Basel-Stadt decided to cancel the Fasnacht of 2020 (from 2 to 4 March) because of the Covid epidemic. The disappointment was omnipresent, but the following year, the cancellation was self-evident.

Finally, on 7 March 2022, at 4 a.m., the Vorwärts Marsch order was given again in the centre of Basel.

At 4 a.m., the lights went off in the city centre, and thousands of piccolos and tambourines resounded in the narrow alleys, bridges, and large squares.

Many thousands marched through the city. The cliques (the associations of Fasnächtler) of Kleinbasel and Grossbasel met at the Wettstein Bridge and the Mittlerebrücke. The lanterns on their heads and large illuminated lanterns (satirical square screens) accompanied the processions, with magnificent costumes in a fairy-tale setting.

Business as usual, no, not as usual. This time it is not Corona but aggression in the middle of Europe that is the day’s talk. This crime is as surrealistic as the masquerades on Fasnacht.

However, it is a bitter reality and another defeat for Europe after the already almost forgotten wars in the Balkans (1991-1999), the massacre of 196 Dutch citizens on 14 July 2014 and many other crimes by the same perpetrators.

Desperate, sad and distraught, inhabitants of the invaded European country were present with their yellow-blue flags on the Marktplatz of Basel on the eve of Fasnacht.

A few hours later, the Vorwärts Marsch! order was given, and the traditional marching music of the piccolos and tambourines sounded.

Most European leaders still hide behind self-deception, tough talk and symbolic, even cynical, declarations of support. The crocodile will become hungrier, however. A masquerade is not even needed anymore.

Swiss neutrality doesn’t seem to be an option in this case. Many blue and yellow colours decorate the clothing of the cliques. It is about humanity, democracy and the rule of law.

Proofreading: Adrian Dubock