Intangible cultural heritage

Intangible cultural heritage is the living heritage which is present in people’s everyday lives, encompassing all forms of human activity. We celebrate Christmas and other annual events, choir singing interests people across all age groups and every region has its own crafts and recipes.

Intangible cultural heritage includes e.g. oral tradition; performing arts; social practices; rituals and festive events; knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe; and traditional craftsmanship. Tools and crafts, different forms of expression such as songs, poems, place-names and dances or manifestation of sociocultural life like games, foods or cooking methods may be generated based on them.

Intangible cultural heritage includes phenomena which are preserved, alive and changing, from one generation to the next and even inside the generations. Cultural heritage has many forms, and it can take on characteristics from the neighbouring village just as easily as from the other side of the world. It gains its strength from communities and is dependant on those who pass on knowledge, skills and practices. It is the communities themselves which define the value and significance of living heritage.