My eyebrows are singed

Is my ear on fire?

I’ve temporarily escaped from the fire that threatened to set alight me, the small boy beside me and the shop behind me.

The masked guys towing the huge burning brazier had stopped for a rest, and the street draught sent the flames licking towards us and the building against which we cowered. Luckily they heaved off again down the main street of Leistal, in Switzerland, dangerously cutting the next corner, sending spectators running.

A fire carrier seeks refreshment from the crowd

Tonight is the start of Basel’s Fasnacht – so I’ll be out again for 4am. Liestal (capital of half canton Baselland)  sneaks in its own festival of fire in earlier in the evening.

It’s basically a succession of fife/piccolo and drum bands, adults and some children shouldering large burning torches and incandescent fire trolleys. It’s dramatic and very hot.

Blimey that's hot! And close!

The Swiss – notorious for their observance of rules and regulations – apparently shelve all ideas of health and safety on special occasions. Though their were fire fighters loitering along the route to pat down fire carriers who managed to set themselves of fire.

I took a few pictures on my phone at risk of it and me melting. As you may know, I’m fond of Basel – its 13 gifts to the world and its scope for playing private detective.

Waggis - a classic character


Local lad Visagithan, who was inside Waggis. (Visigathan is a Sri Lankan name.)

Back in Basel, some more Waggises sitting on the wino seats at Basel railway station, preparing for Basel's own Fastnacht later tonight. I was their first victim to get confetti dumped down my back. It kicks off in a few hours - so time now for rum? Or a few hours sleep?



Filed under life

8 responses to “My eyebrows are singed

  1. good golly mizz molly-for real? glad you are not a briquette or any size or shape!

  2. Looks aweseome. Who’d have thought the tight Swiss resolve would thwart all OH&S considerations. Loves me a good flame I does.

  3. Karme

    Interesting site!

  4. jens

    Look at my paintures at facebook…. spionage satellit

  5. Wow, they might burn the town down to celebrate…

  6. I never knew that! It sounds so very…unSwiss?

  7. Great post, really like your blog.

  8. Pingback: Singed eyebrows | Farestrans

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