For the first time in its 108-year history, Basel’s carnival committee will be headed by a woman.
Pia Inderbitzin will replace Christoph Bürgin as chair of the organisation starting in July, the committee announced on Monday.
The 62-year-old primary teacher has been a member of the committee’s board since 2000 and was previously in charge of its young talent department. She has served as the committee’s vice-chairwoman since 2010.
Since its founding in 1910, the Fasnacht committee has been headed by a total of eleven chairmen.
Traditionally, the Fasnacht was an all-male domain and there are still some carnival clubs that are not open to females.
In a statement to the press, Inderbitzin said she was convinced that the Basel carnival was ready for a chairwoman.
“The male cliques don’t have to be afraid of me,” she said, and maintained that she had a very good relationship with them.
The Basel Fasnacht committee was founded by Basel’s tourism office in order to give some structure to the city’s three-day carnival.
The committee is responsible for organising the parades and selling an annual brooch to help finance the fun.
As Switzerland’s largest carnival, Basel’s Fasnacht received UNESCO’s “intangible heritage” status last year.