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Pantomime and carol singing has UNESCO cultural status

Pantomime and carol singing has UNESCO cultural status

  • Written by Annabelle Rackham
  • Culture correspondent

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Mummers could obtain protected status by UNESCO

British Christmas traditions, such as pantomime, carol-singing and wreath-making, could receive protected status.

This comes at a time when the government confirms that it will ratify the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Traditions already recognized around the world include the Argentine tango and Belgian beer culture.

The system protects crafts, practices and traditions that give people a sense of identity around the world.

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Notting Hill Festival has become part of UK culture

Chinese shadow puppets, Italian dry stone walls, and Croatian gingerbread making also make up some of the list of protected cases.

British arts and skills can also gain protected status, such as sea shanties and calligraphy.

Landmarks across the UK such as the Tower of London, Fountain Abbey, and the Giant's Causeway already have UNESCO World Heritage protection.

There are currently 33 protected sites in the UK.

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Tartan is also up for consideration in conservation status

Members of the public will be consulted from Saturday on which values ​​and traditions should be celebrated and how the judging process should work to determine which of those nominated values ​​will be chosen.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) says it will work with the devolved nations to ensure that all territories feel represented in the nomination process.

They will then submit nominations to Parliament before formally ratifying the agreement with UNESCO in spring 2024.

Those wishing to take part will be able to nominate festive days such as Hogmanay, Burns Night, Shrove Tuesday and the Welsh tradition Eisteddfodau.

Traditions that may be considered include highland dancing, bagpipe playing, cheese rolling, and male voice choirs in the Welsh Valley.

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Competitors roll down the hill to win a cheesy prize in Gloucester

Other traditions brought to the UK by immigrant communities can also be suggested such as the Notting Hill Carnival and steel drums.

Handicrafts can be worthwhile, such as basket weaving, thatched roofing, and the art of tartan and tweed making.

Practices like these are considered because of the way we inherit them from our ancestors and pass them down through generations.

Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson said: “The United Kingdom is rich in traditions passed down from generation to generation,” adding that these “customs have helped shape our societies.”

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