Vogel Gryff


Category:
Performing arts
  • Social practices
Canton:

Description

Vogel Gryff, or the Festival of the Griffin, is the largest event of the year in Kleinbasel. It opens with the Savage's rafting journey down the Rhine. The raft carries drummers beating out the "Rhy Ab" march, and cannons firing their salute. At the river's bank, the Savage is received by Vogel Gryff and Leu (the griffin and the lion respectively), and together they proceed through Kleinbasel, dancing and entertaining crowds of spectators from the town and the surrounding area. The dance moves are passed down through the generations of griffins, lions and savages without being recorded in writing. In contrast, the traditional drumming march can be read from its sheet music, and is played in exactly the same way year after year. After carnival, Vogel Gryff is the largest event in the City of Basel and is well known across a much wider area.

Image gallery

  • At 10.30 am the Savage starts his boat journey down the Rhein © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The raft comes to a halt after the “Mittlere Rheinbrücke” bridge, level with the barracks © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The three symbolic figures dancing on the bridge for the crowds, keeping their backs firmly turned towards Grossbasel © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The three figures represent the coats of arms of the three Kleinbasel societies © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The Griffin demonstrating his respect for the crowd © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • True to the animal’s character, the lion’s dance is energetic and strong © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The Savage is armed with a small tree to keep away the children and young men trying to steal apples from his ivy wreath © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The four “Ueli” characters scamper around the event all day, collecting money for charities in Kleinbasel © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • At 10.30 am the Savage starts his boat journey down the Rhein © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The raft comes to a halt after the “Mittlere Rheinbrücke” bridge, level with the barracks © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The three symbolic figures dancing on the bridge for the crowds, keeping their backs firmly turned towards Grossbasel © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The three figures represent the coats of arms of the three Kleinbasel societies © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The Griffin demonstrating his respect for the crowd © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • True to the animal’s character, the lion’s dance is energetic and strong © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The Savage is armed with a small tree to keep away the children and young men trying to steal apples from his ivy wreath © Erwin Hensch, 2010
  • The four “Ueli” characters scamper around the event all day, collecting money for charities in Kleinbasel © Erwin Hensch, 2010

References and documentation

Publications
  • Franz Egger: Zünfte und Gesellschaften in Basel. Basel, 2005

  • Eduard Fritz Knuchel: Die Umzüge der Klein-Basler Ehrenzeichen. Ihr Ursprung und ihre Bedeutung. Basel, 1914

  • Eugen A. Meier: Vogel Gryff. Geschichte und Brauchtum der Drei Ehrengesellschaften Kleinbasels. Basel, 1986

Documentation
  • Vogel Gryff

    Ausführliche Beschreibung Last modification: 05.09.2012
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    Type: PDF