Spanish traditions in UNESCO World Heritage list


Well, there are many world heritage sites in Spain, but this year the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has listed Spanish traditions: Flamenco, the Mediterranean diet, the Castell human tower, falconry and the ‘Canto de Sibilia’ from Majorca in its list of intangible cultural heritage.

All those latest additions in the UNESCO list are worthy of their consideration.  Flamenco, a gypsy style of music and dance is very much attached to the regions of southern Spain. Its inclusion has been greeted by Andalucian Flamenco Agency and many artists in Spain.

This is the second time that the Govt. of Spain had included flamenco as a candidature for UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage. It has been declared one of the masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

UNESCO: Intangible cultural heritage does not only represent inherited traditions from the past but also contemporary rural and urban practices in which diverse cultural groups take part.

Mediterranean diet among Spanish traditions

By declaring such traditions as cultural heritage the UN organisation encourages local communities to protect them. Hence, Spanish flamenco can rightly be noted as the essence of Spain, the life and soul of Andalucia!  Read more about Flamenco here

A visit to Spain and more particularly the southern Spain gives you an excellent chance to savour some of the finest Mediterranean cuisines, which is an integral part of Spanish traditions. In modern times, the diet is changing throughout the Mediterranean world and so the importance to promote the traditionalistic notion of Mediterranean diet.

Mediterranean diet, which has its origin from some 9000 years ego, is not just a healthy way to eat rather, according to experts; it is in entirety an art, culture and way of life. It’s inclusion in UNESCO intangible cultural assets is just another attempt to preserve yet another Spanish tradition.

Los Castells - building human castles

The next in the list of UNESCO recognition is the ‘Canto de Sibilia’ – the Mallorcan Christmas chant. The chant is performed in churches throughout Majorca Island and one of typical regional Spanish traditions.

As per historical records, the chant was introduced in Europe during the middle Ages and came to this part of Spain with Christian conquest in somewhere around 1229. UNESCO recognised this as a deep rooted Spanish tradition which has a strong sense of cultural identity and pride of the locals.

The last two in our list of Spanish traditions recognised by UNESCO are: the “Los Castells’- a typical Spanish tradition in many parts of Catalonia which consists of building human castles, and the other one is “falconry”- the art of training falcons to hunt and return. This practice of falconry has its historical credential and has been a part of Spanish traditions and cultural heritage.


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