21 December 2021, by Victoria Séveno
Earlier this year, the Netherlands rejoiced as three Dutch attractions were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Now, only a few months later, the Netherlands has been honoured once again, with two Dutch traditions being added to the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage
The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage is evaluated annually by the UNESCO committee. Established in 2008, it now features over 600 practices – everything from the Summer Solstice fire festivals in Andorra, to Chinese silk craftsmanship – that UNESCO aims to spotlight and raise awareness for.
The list’s full name – Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Register of good safeguarding practices – highlights UNESCO’s efforts to protect important cultural heritage from around the world.
Dutch fruit and flower parades honoured by UNESCO
Up until this year, the Netherlands only had one entry on the list: the process of milling using windmills and watermills, which was inscribed in 2017. Now, the Dutch can celebrate two new additions: the tradition of falconry, and the Corso parades.
Every year, cities and towns across the Netherlands host their own flower and fruit parades, some of the most famous of which are probably the Floating Flower Parade and the Zundert Flower Parade. With floats measuring up to 20 metres long and 10 metres high that take months to prepare, UNESCO says Corso culture helps to “[create] a sense of social cohesion and solidarity.”
Paul Bastiaansen, who works for Corsokoepel, an organisation representing the various parades across the country, was pleased to hear the news. “It is a recognition of the Dutch parade culture. Underlining that those parades are important traditions, but also that you as municipalities should cherish that tradition,” he told NOS.
In addition to the various Dutch flower and fruit parades, the 4000-year-old tradition of falconry, which is practised in a number of countries including the Netherlands, was added to the list this year. The UNESCO committee called it an “important cultural symbol,” with falconers sharing “universal values, traditions and practices.”