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UNESCO Intangible Heritage

The Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage are established by UNESCO aiming to ensure the better protection of important intangible cultural heritages in Croatia.

UNESCO: Lacemaking in Croatia


Lacemaking in Croatia, Pag Lacemaking in Croatia (Čipkarstvo u Hrvatskoj) is a tradition dating back to the Renaissance when lacemaking began spreading throughout the Mediterranean[1] and continental Europe. Throughout the years, Croatian lace has become notable for its unique patterns and designs. In 2009 UNESCO recognised lacemaking in Croatia as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Today in Croatia there are three centres of lacemaking tradition: the Adriatic islands of Pag and Hvar and the northern town of Lepoglava.

UNESCO: Festivity of St. Blaise, Patron Saint of Dubrovnik


Festivity of St. Blaise, Patron Saint of Dubrovnik The Festivity of St. Blaise, the patron of Dubrovnik, represents an exceptional example of intangible cultural heritage, which in a continuous historic sequence from the 10th century to our time, has kept its traditional and recognizable features and exquisite expression, channelling local and national cultural landscape into diverse manifestations, intertwining tangible and intangible cultural heritage with permeating spiritual dimension.

UNESCO: The Sinjska Alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj


The Sinjska Alka, a knights’ tournament in Sinj The Sinjska alka is an equestrian competition which has been held every first Sunday in the month of August in town of Sinj, Croatia since 1715, commemorating the victory over Ottoman Turkish administration. It consists of an equestrian competition, in which various horsemen attempt to aim their lances at a hanging metal ring (alka) at full gallop. In 2010 it has been inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

UNESCO: Annual Carnival Bell Ringers’ Pageant from the Kastav Area


Annual Carnival Bell Ringers’ Pageant from the Kastav Area During the Carnival period (between the 17th of January and Ash Wednesday), about ten groups of men in the Kastav area march through their own and surrounding villages in processions via traditional routes, several kilometers long. Some wear masks and others different headgear symbolizing vegetation and fertility. They all have sheepskin throws turned inside-out and bells, after which they were named.

UNESCO: Spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (Queens) from Gorjani


Spring procession of Ljelje/Kraljice (Queens) from Gorjani Kraljice (queens) from village Gorjani are girls who go through their village in a procession and perform a ritual consisting of special songs and dance with sabres in spring, on Whitsunday. They are divided into kraljice (queens) and kraljevi (kings); about ten kings wear sabres and male hats decorated with flowers and half as much queens wear white garlands on their heads like brides. From a wide repertoire of kraljica lyrics they choose songs corresponding to the families they are visiting; most often they sing to a girl, boy or a young bride.

UNESCO: Two-part Singing and Playing in the Istrian Scale, Istria


Two-part Singing and Playing in the Istrian Scale, Istria Two-part singing and playing in the Istrian Scale is a complex style of folk music found even outside Istria and the Croatian Littoral, but it is most compactly preserved precisely in this area. Basically, two-part singing is based on non-tempered tone relations and a characteristic color of tone that is achieved in vocal music by powerful singing, partly through the nose.

UNESCO: Procession "Za Križen" on the Island of Hvar


Procession Za Križen (Following the Cross) on the Island of HvarZa križen is a night Procession that happens every Maundy Thursday on the island of Hvar, Croatia. The event has centuries of tradition and is included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. The Procession is a unique ceremony of a special piety, and an expression of a religious and cultural identity of the inhabitants of the middle part of the island of Hvar that is held in an uninterrupted sequence for five centuries. Also exceptional is its duration (during 8 hours everyone passes 25 km) and its stress for its passion play content; it is prepared and enforced by brotherhoods, respectively the community of the believers of Hvar in whose history and life the Cross is deeply inscribed. The backbone of the Procession is the Gospin plač, octosyllabic Passion text from the 15th century that in the form of music Dialog sing chosen singers, kantaduri

UNESCO: Traditional Manufacturing of Children’s Wooden Toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje


Traditional Manufacturing of Children’s Wooden Toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje Wooden children’s toys are recognizable traditional products of Hrvatsko zagorje with a long history. Precisely in this area, a peculiar production of toys was developed in the 19th century and it has been preserved in some villages such as Laz, Stubica, Tugonica and Marija Bistrica.

UNESCO: Bećarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia


Bećarac singing and playing from Eastern Croatia Bećarac is a humorous form of folk song, originally from rural Slavonia, and eventually spreading across Croatia and into southern Hungary and Vojvodina. The root of the word comes from bećar, meaning "bachelor", "reveler" or "carouser". Bećarci are always teasing, mocking and/or lascivious, and are usually sung by a male company at village parties. Bećarac uses a strict form of couplet in decasyllable, always sung to the same music, played by a tamburitza orchestra or just by the choir. The first verse is sung by the choir leader and forms a logical thesis; it is repeated by the choir of gathered men. The second verse is a humorous antithesis, also repeated by the choir (but often broken by laughter). Bećarci are usually performed at the peak of a party as a drinking song after the crowd is sufficiently warmed up by wine and music. A series of bećarci can last indefinitely. The lyrics are often made up at the spot or improvised, and the best ones are spread and reused for later parties. In 2009, Croatia submitted the bećarac among others for inclusion in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists. In 2010, the attempt was again unsuccessful, and English translations were made for better reference. In 2011, it was included in the list.

UNESCO: Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia


Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia Licitars are colorfully decorated biscuits made of sweet honey dough that are part of Croatia's cultural heritage and a traditional symbol of Zagreb. They are used as an ornamental gift often given at celebrations of love such as weddings, St. Valentine's Day, birthdays. At Christmas time Zagreb is adorned with thousands of licitar hearts; the Christmas tree in the main square is festooned with thousands of licitar hearts. In 2010, UNESCO added the Gingerbread craft from Northern Croatia to the "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage" for Croatian culture.

UNESCO: Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland


Nijemo Kolo, silent circle dance of the Dalmatian hinterland The Nijemo Kolo is performed by a group forming a closed circle with the men leading their female partners in quick, fortuitous steps which are often vigorous and daunting. The most noticeable aspect of the dance is that it performed entirely without music. Nijemo Kolo is a silent dance originating from the Dalmatian hinterland in southern Croatia. In 2011 it was inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.

UNESCO: Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia, southern Croatia


Klapa multipart singing of Dalmatia, southern Croatia The klapa music is a form of traditional a cappella singing in Dalmatia, Croatia. The word klapa translates as "a group of friends" and traces its roots to littoral church singing. The motifs in general celebrate love, wine (grapes), country (homeland) and sea. Main elements of the music are harmony and melody, with rhythm very rarely being very important. In 2012 klapa was inscribed in UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. A klapa group consists of a first tenor, a second tenor, a baritone, and a bass. It is possible to double all the voices apart from the first tenor. It is usually composed of up to a dozen male singers. In recent times, female vocal groups have been quite popular, but in general male and female groups do not mix.

UNESCO: Ojkanje singing


Ojkanje singing Ojkanje singing, or just ojkanje, is a tradition of polyphonic folk singing from the Dalmatian hinterland region in Croatia, marked by a distinctive voice-shaking technique. In 2010 it has been inscribed in UNESCOs List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.