Culture and society
Basel’s Mid-Autumn Festival
Basel has been celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival since 2010. Every year, the popular festival on Münsterplatz presents fascinating aspects of the Chinese culture and provides an opportunity for encounters between Basel’s population and its local Chinese community. The around 6,000 visitors which flock to the festival on a (mostly) beautiful autumn day can experience the rich traditions of the Middle Kingdom hands-on, including Tai Ji, Chinese musical instruments, calligraphy, magic, dance and acrobatics. On top of this, visitors can sample a range of culinary delights from China which few Chinese restaurants in Switzerland have on offer. Thanks to Basel’s city partnership with Shanghai, the Mid-Autumn festival frequently attracts artists from the Chinese Metropolis.
Bringing the city partnership to life
Public events, such as Basel’s Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival bring the partnership between Basel and Shanghai to life and offer the population an opportunity to encounter the local Chinese community. With the aim of integrating its Chinese population even further into the life of the city, the administration promotes their active participation in the Mid-Autumn Festival. Furthermore, contacts with the Chinese community in Basel are established and maintained via joint events as well as a virtual communication platform on Facebook. ChinaWorldBasel was set up to raise awareness of Basel’s Chinese community and local elements of the Chinese culture and bring the partnership between Basel and Shanghai to life. The platform serves as an exchange and information tool for anyone interested in the China-Basel connection.
Thanks to the activities offered on the ChinaWorldBasel platform, Basel aims to make the city the first destination for prospective Chinese immigrants planning to live and work in Switzerland.
Basel Symphony Orchestra tours China and South Korea
One of the oldest and most renowned orchestras in Switzerland, the Basel Symphony Orchestra has a strong national and international appeal - a fact that is reflected by significant numbers of international guest soloists and conductors as well as regular guest performances. In 2015, the orchestra explored new horizons on its tour of China and South Korea, making a valuable contribution to the continuation of the international music tradition which has distinguished the cultural centre of Basel for many decades. The Asian tour kicked off in Beijing on 23 March 2015 and was followed by a concert at the Oriental Art Centre in Basel’s partner city Shanghai. This was another highlight in a series of events that allow the cultural cities of Basel and Shanghai to focus on shared strengths and benefit from a productive exchange.
Basel has been celebrating the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival since the year 2010. The festivities gave visitors and locals another great opportunity to encounter the fascinating Chinese culture also in 2014 and mingle with the local Chinese community. At the Mid-Autumn Festival, visitors can experience hands-on the rich traditions of China, such as Tai Chi, various Chinese instruments and calligraphy. There will also be a selection of culinary delights on offer.
The first celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn festival took place in Basel Town Hall in 2010, attended by selected official guests as well as the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China and the President of the Government of Basel-Stadt, Dr. Guy Morin. The following year, the festival was opened to the public at the Museum of Culture in the Münsterplatz. As many as 5,000 visitors thronged Muensterplatz in the open air to discover more about the intriguing Chinese culture. The 2012 Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival also marked the fifth anniversary of Basel’s city partnership with Shanghai. Thanks to its popularity among the Basel population and the local Chinese community, the traditional Chinese festival has now become a fixed point on Basel’s annual event calendar. It is a vibrant occasion with a reputation that spreads well beyond the Basel city boundaries, capturing the imagination of the whole region.