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Basel’s Carnival (Fasnacht) is now part of UNESCO’s world cultural heritage.

It’s official: Basel’s Fasnacht has been recognized by UNESCO as an element of intangible cultural heritage. With this decision, the International Committee has paid tribute to the rich traditions and uniqueness of Basel’s Fasnacht, which is only the second-ever element of Swiss heritage to be awarded the UNESCO label for intangible cultural heritage.

Fasnacht UNESCO

At its meeting on 7 December 2017 on Jeju Island (South Korea), the Intergovernmental Committee decided to include Basel’s Carnival in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The list comprises cultural forms of artistic expression such as dance, theatre and music, as well as oral heritage and traditions, and handicrafts. After the Winegrowers’ Festival in Vevey, the Basel Carnival is the second element of Swiss cultural heritage to be included in the list.

Daniel Egloff, Director of Basel Tourism, is clear: “As well as its significance locally and nationally, this recognition is also extremely important from the perspective of international tourism. We are really proud, and see considerable potential for making Basel’s Carnival an even stronger feature on the tourist map.”

Basel Carnival is part of the city’s identity – culturally speaking, it is at the heart of its creative energies and represents three days when the city goes wild. And it’s not only local people who keep the tradition of the Carnival alive: every year, thousands of tourists come especially to Basel to be part of the festivities. Whether local or tourist, everyone is bowled over by the uniqueness, quality and sheer diversity of the event. 

Basel Carnival