The Greek Culture Ministry announced this week that it had added 21 traditions, customs and practices to its National Intangible Cultural Heritage list as part of its commitment to UNESCO’s “Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage”.
The list which was enhanced last year twice now also includes age-old customs, religious ceremonies and festivities that take place in Ioannina, Attica, Arta, Kozani, Drama, Thessaloniki, Larissa, Elefsina, Serres and Naoussa and on the islands of Samos, Crete, Chios, Skopelos and Aegina.
“The Culture Ministry considers it particularly important to add new elements of intangible cultural heritage to the national index, contributing in this way to the preservation of our collective identity,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.
Among others this year included are Ioannina’s silversmith craft, the Kozani “Fani” carnival tradition, the heritage behind the Aegina pistachio, the xinomavro wine practices of Naoussa, the pottery practices of Heraklion Crete, the embroidered bread of Varnavas (Attica), the traditional preparation of the “karambasi” essential oil on Crete, the traditional open-air festival on August 15 in Zagori, the annual horse races in Doxato (Drama), the “kagelari” dance event in Arta, and many other traditions and customs.
“Our intangible cultural heritage contains evidence of the deep cultural footprint of a rich and, to some extent, unexplored past. It is a key element of our culture. We must honor and respect it. Modern society has its roots in tradition, history, in the experiences of the people who came before us,” said Mendoni.