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Nowrouz Inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Source: UNESCO

Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz or Nevruz marks the New Year and the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area covering, inter alia, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. It is celebrated on 21 March every year, a date originally determined by astronomical calculations. Novruz is associated with various local traditions, such as the evocation of Jamshid, a mythological king of Iran, and numerous tales and legends. The rites that accompany the festivity vary from place to place, ranging from leaping over fires and streams in Iran to tightrope walking, leaving lit candles at house doors, traditional games such as horse racing or the traditional wrestling practiced in Kyrgyzstan. Songs and dances are common to almost all the regions, as are semi-sacred family or public meals. Children are the primary beneficiaries of the festivities and take part in a number of activities, such as decorating hard-boiled eggs. Women play a key role in organizing Novruz and passing on its traditions. Novruz promotes the values of peace and solidarity between generations and within families, as well as reconciliation and neighborliness, thus contributing to cultural diversity and friendship among peoples and various communities.

Decision 4.COM 13.03

The Committee (...) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List, as follows:

  • R1: The element is a celebration consisting of various customs practised within the family and the entire community, including traditional games, culinary traditions, music, dance, oral expressions and crafts, and forms a fundamental part of the cultural identity of the communities concerned;
  • R2: The inscription of the element on the Representative List would encourage inter- and intracultural dialogue and mutual respect among cultures, while strengthening the transmission of the element to future generations;
  • R3: A number of safeguarding measures aim, with the commitment of the communities and States, at strengthening cooperation between authorities, NGOs and local communities, the establishment of a regional network, the creation of community teaching centres in the field of the crafts and other related arts, and the realization of inventories
  • R4: The nomination has been greeted with the enthusiastic support of local communities, cultural groups, academic institutions, practitioners and individuals concerned with the safeguarding of the element, and their consent has been obtained for the elaboration of the nomination;
  • R5: The element is included variously on inventories according to the situation of each of the nominating States.

More information, including the nomination form is available on the web site of UNESCO

The Intangible Heritage Lists: The List of Intangible Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding which came into being in Abu Dhabi, includes 12 elements proposed by States Parties to the Convention and whose viability is endangered, despite the efforts of the community or group concerned. By inscribing an element on this List, the State undertakes to implement specific safeguards and may be eligible to receive financial assistance from a Fund set up for this purpose. (read more)

... Payvand News - 10/07/09 ... --

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