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Liestal Fasnacht. Liestal lies southeast of Basel, on the rail line to Solothurn. Traditionally all the pyromaniacs in Switzerland gather here to try to burn the town down the night before Basel Morgenstreich. Well, they parade through the streets carry torches (or brooms as they call them) as individuals, or pull sleds stacked with firewood. Really mad and spectacular to see. It was raining but when you were close to the flames you dried out pretty quick!


Looking through the old town gate on the north side of old Liestal
A (small) sled of burning wood followed by a group of broom handlers.
Just a few of hundreds of people parading with their burning faggots (of wood) in the main street of the old town.

Sparks were flying everywhere and firemen were spraying the paraders with water when things got too hot. 

A wider view of the old town, at a quieter moment in the parade.

The parade lasted about two and a half hours, with groups of people then a sled, then another group, another sled...

Here you can see the 'brooms' up close. 

Needless to say, you don't wear you best clothes to this event as they would rapidly become your worst clothes from all the burning embers coming off the burning wood.

Another of the sleds (also a small one) piled up with burning wood shot from the rear.

This one was about 2 metre high and 1.5 metre wide and deep.

The stacking of the wood is carefully down to allow air to draw through the stack so it burns strongly.

It is not only the men who are pyromaniacs, this woman was also in the parade (one of quite a few).

I liked 'Scarecrow' who also turned up for the parade (nice floppy hat).

 

One of the bigger sleds (I think it was the last) which was about 3 metre long, 2 metre wide and 2.5 metre high.

Just imagine this going through the town gate (first photo). The groups wait outside until the way is clear and they are ready to go, then rush through the gate hoping not too be too burnt!

The headwear that the paraders wear to avoid getting burnt seems to be highly varied.

I would have thought that the metal would get pretty hot in the time it takes them to walk through the town (at least half an hour to maybe an hour). 

I think this guy was starting to feel the heat a bit under his hat.

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End of Liestal photos. As a general note, all the night shots needed brightness/contrast curve corrections to be viewable.

Swiss Photo Pages

Index Allschwill Arlesheim Basel Stadt Basel Stadt 2 Basel Stadt 3 Basel Land
Basel Munster Fasnacht Band Morgenstreich Fasnacht Lanterns Liestal Fire Parade Geneve Basel Land 2
Lugano Neuchatel Solothurn Jura Rigi Pilatus Goetheanum
Fasnacht2002Lantern Fasnacht2002Bands Stein am Rhein Schaffhausen Luzern Luzern 2 Fasnacht2005
Fasnacht2003-1 Fasnacht2003-2 Fasnacht2003-3 Fasnacht2003-4 Fasnacht2003-5 Fasnacht2003-6 Uri-Nidwalden
Uri Uri Alps Schwyz Schwyz kanton Einsiedeln Glarus - St Gallen Wallis
Bern   Gruyere