The Directorate of ICH at the Hungarian Open Air Museum has initiated and established several series of programmes with the aim of increasing visibility and public awareness of the intangible cultural heritage in society. The objective is to facilitate and foster mutual recognition and respect for human creativity by exposing the broadest possible audiences to the diverse expressions of the intangible cultural heritage and the bearer communities in Hungary and around the world.
The most important and well-known events are the ICH programs of the nation-wide Cultural Heritage Days and the Whitsun Festivities – International Gathering of ICH of the Hungarian Open Air Museum. Besides them we have to mention also the Living Heritage Series, focusing on and highlighting each time one bearer community and element, and the regular weekend features and major events at the Hungarian Open Air Museum. In addition to the Directorate of ICH at the Hungarian Open Air Museum, many other organizations also participate in promoting and increasing the significance of the intangible cultural heritage in society.
Whitsun Festivities - International Gathering of Intangible Cultural Heritage
The Whitsun Festivities’ weekend is a part of the Hungarian Open Air Museum’s annual festivals for a long time. In 2011, the council on scientific affairs of the Museum according to the proposal of the Directorate of ICH decided to dedicate the annual event to the mission of raising awareness on, making visible and also safeguard the intangible cultural heritage. Apart from celebrating those elements of intangible cultural heritage inscribed on the National Inventory in Hungary, we feature also ICH elements inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative list.
Presentations, performances, workshops and táncház-es of Whitsunday and Whitmonday serves for ensuring viability of all the elements, celebrating cultural diversity, presenting the communities and their heritage to the visitors of the museum and the media
ICH is highlighted on several different levels during the festivities. It gives the opportunity to the bearing communities to exchange their practical ideas regarding the safeguarding of the ICH, to experts to establish professional contacts and to the widest public to get in touch with the colorful heritage, experience it in their fullness, to celebrate the cultural diversity and ‘capture the intangible’.
Cultural Heritage Days
Cultural Heritage Days, organized annually on the third weekend of September, are the most significant opportunity for presenting intangible cultural heritage on the national level. New inscriptions on the National Inventory of ICH and the National Register of Best Safeguarding Practices are promulgated at its opening ceremony since 2010. During the weekend these bearer communities present their heritage to the widest public through performances, presentations, small exhibitions and handcraft workshops offered in individual pavilions. The venue for the opening ceremony (and the ICH program element) of the Cultural Heritage Days alternates annually between the capital city, Budapest, and a venue in the country, thus ensuring that the message about the importance of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage reaches people all over the country.
The responsible institution for the professional coordinating of the UNESCO Convention in Hungary:
Directorate of Intangible Cultural Heritage, Hungarian Open Air Museum