Glossary

Ash Wednesday

In Western Christianity Ash Wednesday marks the first day or the start of the season of Lent which begins 40 days prior to Easter (Sundays are not included in the count).

Chaise

Is a carriage with costumed figures. Usually they are women who give out candy and flowers. The ‘Chaise’ can only be seen in the big procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’).

Basel Fasnacht - Chaise

Charivari

The members of a CliqueInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists. or group wear individual costumes. These costumes range from the classical Basel costumes to fantasy figures and ‘ZugkostümeInfoZugkostümeCostumes that refer to the theme presented during the official procession on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’.

Cortege

This refers to the Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon. Groups that want to take part in these parades have to register with the Fasnacht CommitteeInfoFasnacht CommitteeThe Fasnacht committee is responsible for the smooth running of Fasnacht..

Clique

Cliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists, although clique can also refer to all groups who participate in Fasnacht.

Cliquenkeller

Kellerlokal (known as basement locale) are places people can come and hang out in during Fasnacht. During the year it is the venue in which the CliquesInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists. practice.

Cliquenzug

This describes all the components of a CliqueInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists. during the big procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’). This in particular refers to the LanternsInfoLanternLanterns are painted on canvas which is fixed to a three-dimensional wooden frame. and costumes.

Einzelmaske

This refers to an individual in costumes who marches alone and is not part of a group.

Fasnacht committee

The Fasnacht committee is responsible for the smooth running of Fasnacht. It also provides financial support to the CliquesInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists. from the proceeds of the sale of Fasnacht badges.

Fasnacht badges

Refer to the badges which are sold before and during Fasnacht. There are bronze, silver and gold badges that can be bought from Kiosk’s.

Basel Fasnacht - Badges

Gugge music

Refers to the Brass and percussion carnival bands or groups that perform during Fasnacht. In earlier days they played a cacophony of loud sounds. Nowadays they play more harmonious and well known melodies. The Gugge music groups give street concerts and also play in public houses.

Larve

Larve are masks which are in part made of laminated paper and also made from plaster mould and stuck together with glue.

Basel Fasnacht - Masks

Lantern

Lanterns play a big role in Fasnacht. The lanterns themselves usually depict caricatures and are illuminated. They are carried by appointed lantern carriers on their shoulders or are pulled by a wagon. The paintings are usually painted by an artist or amateu. Each lantern illustrates a different aspect of the CliquesInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists. theme. The lanterns can be as big as two to three meters high and can be viewed on Fasnacht Tuesday at Münsterplatz.

Basel Fasnacht - Lantern

Morgenstreich

This is the official start of Fasnacht in Basel. It begins at 4 am in the morning on the Monday following Ash WednesdayInfoAsh WednesdayThe start of the season of Lent..

Rädäbäng

Is the official Fasnacht program. It details and lists the events that take place during the festival. It is published each year by the Fasnacht CommitteeInfoFasnacht CommitteeThe Fasnacht committee is responsible for the smooth running of Fasnacht. and it contains a list of all the registered participants who take part in the official procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’) and their themes.

Räppli

In Basel they say Räppli instead of confetti.

Requisit

This is a prop which is usually mounted on a cart that one of the ‘VortrabInfoVortrabIs a costumed individual who clears the way for his clique.’ pulls along during the official procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’). The construction usually adds to, or further enhances the SubjectInfoSubjectThe subject of Fasnacht refers to the themes presented during the official procession./theme of the CliqueInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists..

Basel Fasnacht - Requisit

Schnitzelbank

Refers to groups who take to restaurants and ‘CliquenkellersInfoCliquenkellerKellerlokal (known as basement locale) are places people can come and hang out in during Fasnacht.’. These groups, also known as ‘Bangg’, perform short songs which usually are satirical in content. The lyrics focus on last year’s events and are sung by costumed singers and accompanied by cartoon drawings. The lyrics also tend to contain witty wordplay and often make connections to other themes. Those who are lucky enough to find a spot in the crammed restaurants may experience a performance of ‘Schnitzelbank’. These restaurants usually bear a plaque which acts as a marker for locals and outsiders letting them know that they are establishments in which Schnitzelbänke perform.

Basel Fasnacht - Schnitzelbank

Schyssdräggziigli

This refers to a small group who plays the flutes and/or drums. These groups usually are thrown together at the last minute and do not participate in the big procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’).

Basel Fasnacht - Schyssdräggziigli

Subject (Sujet)

The Subject of Fasnacht refers to the themes presented during the big procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’). The themes tend to be based on local, national and international events or politics. The ways in which themes are presented tend to be based on satirical criticism. The costumes and LanternsInfoLanternLanterns are painted on canvas which is fixed to a three-dimensional wooden frame. serve to add to and illuminate the points the various CliquesInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists. are trying to make about their theme.

Vortrab

Is an individual who clears the way for his CliqueInfoCliquesCliques refer to the bigger groups which include drummers and flutists.. The ‘Vortrab’ is also in costume but does not play an instrument. During the big procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’) the ‘Vortrab’ hands out the ‘ZeedelsInfoZeedelThese are leaflets which are written in satirical verses.’ which refer to the paper leaflets on which the groups theme is written about.

Basel Fasnacht - Vortrab

Wagen

The wagons are pulled by vehicles and are filled with flowers, confetti (‘RäppliInfoRäppliIn Basel they say Räppli instead of confetti.’) and candy. Wagons are only used in the official procession (‘CortegeInfoCortegeThe Fasnacht parade on Monday and Wednesday afternoon.’) and are usually built and decorated by the members using them.

Basel Fasnacht - Wagon

Zeedel

These are leaflets which are usually in a long, narrow format. They contain satirical verses and are written in ‘Basel dialect’.

 

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