We all have heard of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. As of 2015, 1031 sites of unique cultural and physical significance are listed, numbers of course are increasing.
But what is only known to a few is the existence of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Human knowledge, tradition and skills also need protection. The convention of the conservation of the intangible cultural heritage was adopted in 2003 and came into force in 2006.
Germany joined the convention in 2013 as we have to offer a huge variety of tradition and skills.
To this day there are 34 elements in the German Nationwide Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage:
- Malchow Folk Fair
- Thatcher’s Craft
- The “Rhineland Carnival” in all its local variants
- Peter-and-Paul-Festival in Bretten
- Swabian-Alemannic Carnival
- The Pied Piper of Hamelin
- Lime Tree Fair Limmersdorf
- The Passion Plays of Oberammergau
- Biike Burning
- Vogtland Musical Instrument Construction in Markneukirchen and the surrounding area
- Saxony Boys’ Choirs
- Salt Panners’ Fraternity in the Valley of Halle
- Finch Manoeuvre in Harz
- Low German Theatre
- Social Customs and Festivals of the Lusatian Sorbs over the Course of a Year
- Charcoal Burner’s Craft and Tar Distillery
- The German Theatre and Orchestra Landscape
- Singing the Songs of the German Labour Movement
- Organ Construction and Organ Music
- Modern Dance – Styles and ways of imparting rhythm and free dance movement
- Journeymen’s Wanderings on the road
- Choir music in German Amateur Choirs
- The Idea and Practice of Cooperatives
- Timber Rafting
- Morse Telegraphy
- German Bread Culture
- Folk Dance Movement in all its Regional Variations in Germany
- Choral Singing
- Marksmanship in Germany
- Honorable Court of Fools in Grosselfingen
- Kneippism – traditional knowledge and practice according to Sebastian Kneipp
- Manual production of mouth-blown hollow and flat glass
As you can see this is an inventory of cultural traditions in Germany and we are obliged to update this list on a regular basis. The next round of proposals is scheduled for 2017. Civil society organisations, communities and initiatives are contacted for suggestions and assistance to create a nationwide list.
German traditions are versatile, colourful, innovative and members of our society are full of creative ideas and very talented. A good basis to let the inventory grow.
Of course there is a website to get a much deeper insight into the UNESCO nominations for 2016 & 2017 and the selection process for the nationwide inventory: