Category Archives: Festivals & Events

It’s Herbschtmäss!

Fall is a time like no other in Basel…

The air is brisk, the shops and cafes turn cozy, everything starts to smell like cinnamon, and you get that distinct feeling that Christmas is just around the corner. And in this atmosphere begins the Basler Herbstmesse, the annual fall festival that draws around one million locals and visitors from all over the world. The oldest fun fair in Switzerland, this year’s 544th festival runs from Saturday, 24 October, to Sunday, 8 November—all around the city!

The two-week Herbstmesse (Herbschtmäss) begins with the official ringing in at noon, kicking off a cultural rendezvous that is a combination of tradition, art, and just plain fun. The fair’s unique layout stretches the festivities throughout the city, and there are plenty of stands to explore all kinds of handmade crafts, clothing, toys, and more. You can find rides no matter where you go—spinning, whirling “chairoplanes,” ‘Super Chaos’ at Kasernenareal, or ‘Sky Flyer’ in its first ever appearance at Barfüsserplatz. Or you can celebrate the ‘Super 80s’ at Hallenmesse am Riehenring with ‘Round-Up’ or ‘Break-Dance.’

The giant Ferris wheel at Münsterplatz reaches all the way to the rooftops of Basel’s historical buildings—giving an incredible panoramic view of the city and the Rhein River—and is a Münsterplatz must (at least once!)

Magenbrot
Photo by Artandkitchen.wordpress.com

Another major part of any festival in Basel is the cuisine. A few all-time favourites are Magenbrot, a unique Swiss chocolatey gingerbread, and hot Rosekiechli, delicious flower-shaped fried pastries sprinkled with powdered sugar. You’ll also find chocolate-dipped fruit kebabs with all kinds of fresh fruit—pineapple, bananas, strawberries, and more.

jeffreyKeep an eye out for Jeffrey’s schnitzel stand (started by the owner of the very popular Jeffrey’s Thai Restaurant in Riehenring), which sells gourmet sandwiches back where it all began.

More highlights are the Hääfelimäärt at Petersplatz, showcasing beautiful ceramics in unlimited shapes, colours, and sizes; the Basler Weinmesse (24 October to 1 November) at the Messe Basel, featuring around 5000 wines from more than 20 countries all over the world; the Basler Feinmesse (29 October to 1 November) for sweet and savoury treats; and the Herbstwarenmesse (October 24 to 1 November), with special deals on products from household goods to electronics to sports. And as the Herbstmesse changes from year to year, you never know what else you might find.

Wherever you are in Basel, you’ll notice that Herbschtmäss is a magnet for bringing together people of all ages to enjoy, to experience, and to make memories. Bring your friends, make some new ones, or bundle up your kids and take your family out for some fall fun!

Festival Hours

Basler HerbstmesseSunday – Thursday: 12.00 – 22.00
Friday – Saturday: 12.00 – 23.00

Stop by www.visitbasel.ch for more info, or find Basler Herbstmesse on Facebook at facebook.com/baslerherbstmesse.

*As always with fairs, keep your children and other valuables close! Check out Ask Heidi: A Question of Pickpockets.

Feature Photo by eLjeProks via Flickr

BaselWorld 2015

Latest News from: Baselworld 2015 Press Conference—Live Report

The undisputedly premier event that unites key players from all sectors of the global watch and jewellery industry under one roof, Baselworld 2015 commenced this morning with the inaugural press conference. The conference hall was filled with key players representing the print, TV and digital media from every continent who were eagerly awaiting the Baselworld press conference which marks the start of the landmark event in the annual calendar of the watch and jewellery industry: the show that will unveil the trends of tomorrow.

Please visit Baselworld.com for information on daily schedules, lodging, things to do!

What is Baselworld?

Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show is a trade show of the international watch and jewelry industry held every Spring in Basel, Switzerland. It hosts approximately 2,100 exhibitors from over 45 countries, including the leading watch and jewelry manufacturers, as well as companies specializing in precious gems. The show attracts nearly 150,000 visitors (4,000 press) making it a one of the top watch and jewelry shows.

For a brief history of this trade show, check this information from Wikipedia:

The history of the show dates back to 1917 with the opening of the first Schweizer Mustermesse Basel (muba), of which a section was devoted to watches and jewellery.
•    1925 muba invited several watch manufacturers
•    1931 the Schweizer Uhrenmesse (Swiss Watch Show) was first held in a dedicated pavilion.
•    After 1972’s Europe’s meeting place exhibition, companies from France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom were also invited.
•    1983 the show changed its name to BASEL and two numerals denoting the exhibition year, e.g., BASEL 83.
•    1986, companies from outside Europe were included for the first time, reflecting the increased number of visitors from outside Europe.
•    1995 the show was renamed to BASEL 95 – The World Watch, Clock and Jewellery Show.
•    1999, a new hall with 36,000 square meters exhibition space was added. The year 2000 saw an increase of 6 per cent in trade visitors.
•    2003 the show was again renamed to Baselworld, The Watch and Jewellery Show.
•    2004, with the introduction of a new hall complex, the exhibition area extended to 160,000 square meters, attracting more than 89,000 visitors.

What Watch-Next is recommending: Basel beauties: Baselworld Watch Fair Preview – The giant Baselworld show, headed by the likes of Rolex, Omega, Tag Heuer, Patek Philippe, Girard Perregaux, Hublot, and Breitling, approaches fast. To read more, click here.
Hermes-041903WW00_AR6.A94.630_MM76-630x1024Zenith-Academy_CC_Hurricane_Grand_Voyage_II_frontfacing-766x1024

Basel Community also recommends reading A Question of Pickpockets.

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Photo by Kevin Kyburz via Flickr

Happy Easter!

Already spring has begun, and the city is brimming with new life. Grey skies or blue, it’s something you can sense—from walking through the forests of Allschwil, to the new songs the birds sing in the city, or the way the Tinguely fountains seem to have wakened from a long winter just in time to stretch out their arms and catch the sun.

And with this spring comes an early Easter, and the promise of restoration that it brings. As the church bells ring this Sunday morning, you’ll find yourself waking to a brand new celebration. And don’t forget: Daylight saving time begins Easter morning!

Here’s a quick sketch of what a typical Swiss Easter might look like…

Easter Surprises

It’s traditional in Switzerland to attend church in the morning, followed by brunch or dinner and a family celebration. A typical Easter menu could include lamb with potatoes; pastetli, a meat pie with mushrooms and cream sauce; chicken in lemon thyme butter; fish with couscous and yogurt sauce; pork, or rabbit.

Most children—and adults—also look forward every year to an Easter egg hunt. Eggs are usually painted the day before, and then in the morning are hidden outside in the park or garden, in the house, even inside boots and shoes! It’s uncommon to use plastic eggs, as Switzerland in general likes to keep things eco-friendly.

And don’t forget the Easter Bunny! Many children wake up on Easter morning to a magical nest or Easter basket filled with a chocolate bunny and eggs.

Chocolate bunniesUnforgettable Edibles

Basel whips up plenty of specialties just for Easter. Here’s a quick guide to a few of the seasonal favourites:

Biskuithässli and Biskuitlämmli: Bunny-shaped and lamb-shaped almond cookies with a delicate lemon flavour. Available in chocolate too.

Ostertauben: Pastry “doves” with candied fruit, hazelnuts, and almonds.

Osterfladen or Osterflädeli: A cross between a custard tart and a cake, often filled with rice pudding, speckled with raisins, and topped with frosting or powdered sugar. It can range from a very simple custard-like filling, to something more ornate with several layers of jam, cream, and nuts. Here’s a recipe via the Swiss Club of New South Wales. You can also learn how to make a breadier version on YouTube, thanks to @cakeclassics from Germany.

Praline Eier: Oversized candy eggs with a hard praline shell, filled with chocolates and decorated with piped frosting. Each boxed individually, these gourmet and somewhat costly praline eggs are given to close family and friends…a gift that tells a loved one just how very much they mean to you!

And everyone knows, Switzerland is the place to be for chocolate. Walk into any confiserie or bakery and you’ll be overwhelmed by all the choices—chocolate bunnies, candy eggs, marzipan carrots. Migros and Coop sell plenty favourites as well, from Lindt to Cailler, to Milka and beyond!

(S)Hop Around

Easter and spring go perfectly hand in hand, bringing new life to the city that you can feel as you walk from shop to shop and from city square to city square. You’ll find extra special treats, flowers, and fashions in every shop, and in the open markets of Marktplatz and Barfüsserplatz. But don’t forget that shops keep different hours for the holidays: you may need to check opening times for Good Friday, Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday, but in a pinch you can find almost everything you need at the SBB train station shopping center.

Easter Extras

A fun event you might want to catch this year is The 16th International Tango Festival OsterTango 2015! It will take place from 2 to 6 April, 2015 Hosted by the Basel Tango School, the event brings everyone together for a colourful weekend of music and dance, with a Tango Concert and Show, After Hours Tango, a special film presentation, DJs, and more. Don’t forget to stop by their website for tickets and more information.

There’s always something going on in Basel, and Easter brings much to do outside the ordinary. But of all it offers, maybe the best is opportunity—opportunity to be with family and friends, to relax, to party, to hike and bike, walk in the city or wander through the forest. You’re limited only by your creativity…and sometimes the weather!

What are you doing today to prepare for Easter? Are you colouring eggs with family and friends? Doing some last minute shopping for chocolate bunnies and flowers, or just relaxing at home? We’d love to hear how you’re celebrating this year!

Happy Easter from Basel Community!Frohe Ostern

Basler Fasnacht 2016 – Already?

Did your children like the Basler Fasnacht?

Do they want to be an active part of it?

Now’s the perfect time for them to learn play the “Basler Trommel” or the “Piccolo”.
Please bring your children to the information evening of the Jungi Pfluderi Clique at the Resaturant Schnabel.

When: March 4, 6-8 p.m. or March 11, 6-8 p.m.

Or you can contact Anna info@jungi-pfluderi.ch.

For more info about the “Jungi Pfluderi Clique” — visit http://www.jungi-pfluderi.ch.

urs-2

What to Do in Basel for New Year’s Eve: Celebrating Silvester

Looking for something to do to celebrate 2015 in Basel? Here are a few of our picks around the city!

If you’d like to celebrate with a crowd, downtown has its annual festivities, which start at 23:00 hrs with Glühwein served until 01:00 and fireworks at half past midnight.

At the Münsterplatz, enjoy a lively brass band performing from the towers, starting at 23:30. And for the official ringing in, the large bell at the Münster’s Martinsturm (St. Martin’s Tower) rings out the old year from 23:45 to 23:55, until midnight, when all the church bells of the city playfully welcome the new year together. There is also a special worship service at the Münster from 00:15 to 00:30 hrs.

Plan public transport in advance by visiting the official BVB website: http://www.bvb.ch/en/timetable-network/online-timetable.

Click here for more info on New Year’s Eve in Basel.

Happy New Year from Basel Community!

Klosterberg Festival 2014

The Klosterbergfest 2014 is on! Don’t miss the food, music, and fun!! For more information, click here!

klosterberg

The Klosterbergfest is legendary in Basel!

What is it?

A three-day, multi-cultural street party festival: Live music, caipirinhas (of course!), gourmet food from around the world, and more! The goal is to raise money for street children in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The money will be used to provide the children opportunities for growth and enhancement. So far, over 20,000 people have benefited with elementary and advanced training from these generous donations from Basel.

Join the fun!

Source: http://www.baselinsider.ch/jahreshighlights/klosterbergfest.html

Frohe Ostern!

Easter is almost here and it’s time to celebrate! If you’re wondering how to celebrate the Swiss way, here are just a few ideas…

Easter Surprises

You’ll probably hear the church bells ringing joyfully this Easter morning! It’s traditional in Switzerland to attend church, followed by brunch or dinner and a family get-together. A typical Easter menu could include lamb with potatoes, pastetli (a meat pie with mushrooms and cream sauce), chicken in lemon thyme butter, fish with couscous and yogurt sauce, pork, or rabbit.

Most children—and adults—also look forward to an annual Easter egg hunt. Easter eggs (usually real eggs, not plastic) are normally painted the day before, and then in the morning are hidden outside in the park or garden, in the house, even inside boots and shoes!

And don’t forget the Easter Bunny. Many children wake up on Easter morning to a magical nest or Easter basket filled with a chocolate bunny and candy eggs.

Easter Treats

Chocolate bunnies

There are lots of Basel specialties to look forward to any time of year. Here’s a quick guide to a few Easter favourites:

Biskuithässli and Biskuitlämmli: Bunny-shaped and lamb-shaped almond cookies with a delicate lemon flavour. Try the chocolate ones too!

Ostertauben: Pastry “doves” with candied fruit, hazelnuts, and almonds.

Osterfladen or Osterflädeli: A cross between a custard tart and a cake, often filled with rice pudding, speckled with raisins, and topped with frosting or powdered sugar. It can range from a very simple custard-like filling, to something more decadent with several layers of jam, cream, and nuts.

Praline Eier: Big candy eggs with a hard praline shell, filled with chocolates and decorated with piped frosting. These gourmet (and somewhat costly) praline eggs are given to close family and friends…a gift that tells a loved one just how very much they mean to you!

And everyone knows, Switzerland is the place to be for chocolate. Walk into any confiserie or bakery and you’ll be overwhelmed by all the choices—chocolate bunnies, candy eggs, marzipan carrots. Migros and Coop sell plenty favourites as well, from Lindt to Cailler, to Milka and beyond!

Easter Extras

• Another fun event to check out is the Basel OsterTango, 17 – 21 April. Hosted by the Basel Tango School, the event brings everyone together for a colourful weekend of music and dance, with a Tango Concert and Show, AfterHour Tango, a special film presentation, DJs, and more. Stop by their website for tickets and more information: www.tangobasel.ch.

• In Switzerland, Easter Monday is a public holiday as well as Easter Sunday. It’s another time when families and friends get together for more festivities, or just to relax. Just remember that some stores may be closed, but in a pinch you can find almost everything you need at the SBB train station shopping center.

• The forecast for Easter Sunday is mostly cloudy and 20º (68º F). (But mostly cloudy could be called partly sunny, right? : )

What are some of your favourite Easter traditions?

Happy Easter from Basel Community!

Frohe Ostern

Erin Go Basel

St. Patrick's DayWherever you come from, wherever you roam, it’s good to be Irish in Basel! Home to a large Irish community, you can be sure that Basel’s bustling pubs will be celebrating this Paddy’s Day with flair, cheer, and of course, Guinness. Here are a couple authentic Irish pubs to check out this year…

Mr. Pickwick Pub Basel

With several locations around Switzerland, Mr. Pickwick is a popular place for catching a football match, playing a round of darts, or simply getting together with friends in a cozy setting that’s always packed! Stop by their website for more info at pickwick.ch.
Steinenvorstadt 13 • 4051 Basel
Tel: +41 61 281 86 87

Paddy Reilly’s Irish Pub

It’s Paddy’s Day at Paddy’s! Besides its friendly atmosphere, delicious food, and of course great beer, Paddy’s is known for local live music and DJs on the weekend. Join the party this Monday and don’t forget to try the Steak & Guinness Pie (or Cottage Pie!). You can see some photos from St. Patrick’s Day past on their website: paddys.ch/basel.
Steinentorstrasse 45 • 4051 Basel, Switzerland
Tel: +41 61 281 33 36

No matter what your nationality, it’s the one day of the year when everyone’s Irish. So grab some friends and don’t forget to wear green! This year, follow your rainbow to the Rhein and find your luck the Swiss way — in Basel.

For each petal on the shamrock

This brings a wish your way

Good health, good luck, and happiness

For today and every day.

Feature Photo | vermegrigio | Flickr.com
St Patrick’s Day Seal | Half Moon Bay Art Glass

The Basler Fasnacht

Basler Fasnacht
10 March | 04.00 – 13 March | 04.00

Carnival in Basel is an experience like no other. It’s extravagant, it’s loud, it’s crowded, it’s a great big deliciously cacophonous mess. The biggest carnival festival in Switzerland, the Basler Fasnacht is an historic and fun event that you must experience at least once in your lifetime.

Morgästraich

Merz and Qadaffi as Punch & Judy © nicestalan
Merz and Qadaffi as Punch & Judy © nicestalan
It all starts with Morgästraich, that moment at 4:00 in the morning when, after what feels like the entire city has gathered downtown, the lights go out and the Cliquen (groups who are part of the festival) start their first march, all at the same time. Hundreds of Fasnächtler, or Fasnacht-participants, dressed in elaborate costumes compose the Cliquen, playing their tunes with flutes and drums, marching in a massive parade of colours and lighted lanterns, with bright handcrafted carts and displays usually saturated with political satire. (Try to attend this with a Swiss friend so they can explain the jokes!) And the Fasnächtler carry on as the morning dawns, taking breaks to warm up now and then at a local bar before heading out again.

After the Morgästraich, join some friends to try some Mehlsuppe, flour soup (a Fasnahct tradition), at one of the local restaurants or pubs. You can also try other local specialties Zwiebelkuchen, a pie made of onions and bacon, or chäschüechli, a cheese quiche. Many restaurants are open for the entirety of the drey scheenschte Dääg…

Die drey scheenschte Dääg

Waggi Confetti ©nicestalan // Flickr.com
Waggi Confetti ©nicestalan // Flickr.com
The carnival itself lasts for 72 hours straight, running until Thursday morning at 4:00 a.m. These three days, called the drei schöoenschte Dääg or the ‘three most beautiful days,’ are a non-stop celebration, with special parades on Monday and Wednesday called Cortège as well as other parades all throughout the city. Another fun part of Fasnacht is the Guggemusik — brass bands who play everything from classic folk to modern pop songs. The Gugge participate at Cortège on Monday and Wednesday, but Tuesday night is dedicated especially to the Guggemusik, with concerts spread out through the centre of the city, at Barfüsserplatz, Marktplatz, and Claraplatz. Buy a klöpfer and Feldschlösschen lager at the food stand and enjoy a fun evening of lively music.

Tuesday is also the day for the Children and Family Fasnacht, where children can take part in the marches with their parents.

Monday through Wednesday evening, you can catch ‘Schnitzelbänke,’ when performers sing satirical songs about current events and personalities. More info.

Throwing Räppli

You’ll enjoy dozens and dozens of floats during the parades, and you might get thrown an orange or other treat from one of the wagons. But you might also get stuffed with Räppli — colourful paper confetti. (And once it gets in your house or flat, you’ll be able to remember Fasnacht all year long, as you’ll continue to find it during your housekeeping for the rest of the year!) The best way to ward off confetti-throwers is to buy a Fasnacht Blaggedde, a badge or pin worn during the festival, which you can buy in the weeks leading up to Fasnacht. Yet even with the pin, there’s a fairly good chance that you’ll still get showered in Räppli at some point during the festival!

Fasnacht Treats

Besides Mehlsuppe, Chäschüechli, and sausages and beer, there are several treats you can look forward to for Fasnacht. Try Faschtewaihe, a white, pretzel-shaped bread topped with cumin seeds found at bakeries like Sutter and local supermarkets. For a sweet treat, head to your favourite confiserie, Migros, or Coop for some Fasnachtschüechli—delicious deep-fried pastry topped with powdered sugar.

There’s much to love about Fasnacht! What’s your favourite part of the festival? Tell us in the comments!

For more info, visit Fasnachts Comité at www.fasnachts-comite.ch.

BScene Club Festival 2014

Basel Clubs
28 February – 1 March 2014
Friday & Saturday Nights

Music lovers, it’s Basel BScene Club Festival weekend! The biggest club festival in northwestern Switzerland, Basel BScene has been running since 1996.

This Friday and Saturday you can catch any of the 65 musical acts of all styles performing at 11 different stages around Basel. Buy 1- or 2-Day Passes and be a part of all the sights and sounds that make up today’s thriving local music scene.

Check out their website for lineup, tickets, locations, and more: www.bscene.ch.

Photo by www.basel.com