Vogel Gryff Festival (Basel)
Jan 20 @ 10:30 AM - 5:00 PMFree
Starting at 11 AM in the morning, strange things will happen at the Middle Rhine Bridge in Basel.
It may be a familiar sight for locals, but visitors will be surprised by three mystical creatures: A savage man carrying a pine tree, a lion and a griffin.
By the sound of drum beat and gun salutes, they will be bowing, greeting people, dancing and stomping, while always facing the Kleinbasel district.
The Vogel Gryff Festival in Basel
This local tradition dates back to the middle ages, and the three symbolic figures represent the three societies of Kleinbasel: Rebhaus, Hären and Greifen.
The Vogel Gryff Festival used to have more of a political and military background. But by now, it has been deeply entrenched in Swiss culture as a beloved social event. After the creatures finish their distinctive dancing and start marching through Kleinbasel, people will join a common meal and then return to entertainment.
Watch out for next year's dates: The Vogel Gryff Festival takes place alternately on January 13, 20 or 27...
(Photograph copyright by Basel Tourism)