08 December 2023, by Emily Proctor

The Summer Carnival Rotterdam has been given UNESCO intangible heritage status, after being placed on the Dutch heritage list several years ago. The carnival, which sees a colourful parade of floats, carnival groups and dancers head through Rotterdam each summer, has its roots in the Dutch Caribbean, Cape Verde, Suriname and Spain.

Intangible heritage of Rotterdam’s carnival recognised globally

The new UNESCO status means that Rotterdam’s Summer Carnival will be recognised internationally as part of the city and its inhabitants’ intangible heritage. Though the event was already recognised by the Netherlands as a form of intangible cultural heritage, the international recognition will draw more attention to the event. 

The carnival was nominated for UNESCO status back in 2020, when the Culture Minister Ingrid van Engelshoven recommended the event for UNESCO consideration. According to NOS, the minister said at the time that the event reflects the diversity of the Netherlands and connects its people.

Grassland irrigation technique also added to intangible heritage list

Alongside the carnival, a technique used to irrigate meadows using channels dug from a nearby river or stream has also been recognised on the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. The Netherlands nominated the technique for consideration, along with six other EU countries. 

The technique in question is still used in parts of the Netherlands today and ensures biodiversity and soil quality while being able to effectively irrigate land. You can find it being used in parts of Overijssel and North Brabant to keep the fertility of soil as high as possible.

Image: Worldpics / Shutterstock.com

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