On the initiative of Poland as well as an interregional coalition built by our country and consisting of Botswana, Bangladesh, Morocco, South Korea, Panama, Rwanda, and Slovakia, the UNESCO Executive Board decided during the ongoing 217th session to establish the International Day of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Intangible Cultural Heritage encompasses practices, skills, and traditions handed down from generation to generation, as well as valued objects and places that strengthen the sense of belonging to a group or community. This year marks the 20th anniversary of adopting the UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. The aim of the decision adopted on the initiative of Poland and the interregional coalition is to disseminate knowledge about the 2003 UNESCO Convention, draw the attention of the international community to intangible cultural heritage, and to encourage additional action to protect the heritage at local and international levels.
The International Day of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will be celebrated annually on 17 October, marking the day when the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage was adopted.
The decision to establish the International Day of the Intangible Cultural Heritage is part of this year’s celebrations of the 20th anniversary of adopting the Convention and confirms Poland’s commitment to the promotion and protection of cultural heritage. The Executive Board’s decision will be submitted as recommendations to the General Conference of UNESCO, which in November this year will adopt a resolution on this subject.
Poland ratified the Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage in 2011. At present, the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage includes five elements from Poland. The last of these, timber rafting, was added in December 2022.