Liestal’s Banntag (community boundary day)

Social practices


On Banntag, citizens are invited to walk along boundaries of their commune. In Liestal, the capital of the canton of Basel-Landschaft, the event is organised by the Citizens’ Council. The walk takes place on the Monday before Ascension Day and is attended exclusively by men and children. Citizens are divided into four groups according to neighbourhood and family ties. Each group has its own leader, flag and a fife and drum band, and is accompanied by a group of children.

The Banntag begins at six o’clock in the morning with a shooting demonstration by the Banntag marksmen in the Rathausstrasse. The town gate bell is then rung to summon the citizens of Liestal. At eight o’clock, the four groups march off. The Banntag marksmen fire into the air repeatedly as they walk along. Together, the groups cover the 26 kilometres of the communal boundaries. On the way, there are two breaks with speeches and a roll call, and one or more stops at inns or neighbouring communes. In the evening, the groups return to the town where they go bar hopping together in the taverns of Liestal.

Image gallery

  • Banntag shooting (Liestal, 2016) © Bürgergemeinde Liestal
  • Walking along the boundary of the commune (Liestal, 2016) © Bürgergemeinde Liestal
  • The flowers on the Banntag hats traditionally consist of white and purple lilac, a red and a yellow tulip and Welsh grass (Liestal, 2016) © Bürgergemeinde Liestal
  • The children in the group plant a green birch branch at each boundary stone, and every participant touches the stone with his cane (Liestal, 2016) © Bürgergemeinde Liestal

References and documentation

  • Jürg Ewald und Lukas Ott (Ed.): Liestal – eine neue Heimatkunde. Liestal, 2004

  • Eduard Strübin: Baselbieter Volksleben. Basel, 1952

  • Dominik Wunderlin: Mann und Bann. Liestaler Grenzgänge – das Buch über den Liestaler Banntag. Liestal, 2005

  • Liestaler Banntag

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