'Intangible Heritage': From pizzas to windmills and traditional horse games


Naples pizza twirling

The fine art of Neapolitan pizza bakers is a popular inclusion in the UNESCO "intangible heritage" list. Here, famed Neapolitan pizza chef Gino Sorbillo shows off some authentic local cultural treasures which, according to the Neapolitan Pizza Association rule book, must be cooked in a wood fire oven at 485 degrees Celsius.


German organ-building and music

Germany has long been a center of organ construction, and many of the world's finest examples of the instrument can be found there, like this one by Friedrich Stellwagen in Stralsund. The group of some 2,800 organ builders who made the nomination say an estimated 1 million people hear organ music on some Sundays during church services. But organs can be a visual treat as well.


Carnival in Basel

Basel residents call the Carnival celebrations in the Swiss city "the three happiest days." The festival is a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors from Germany, France and Luxembourg, as well as from further abroad. Some 1,000 Carnival associations take part.


Alasita: Luck in miniature form

Alasita is a traditional festival in La Paz, Bolivia, where participants buy or are given miniature versions of the things they would like to obtain during the year. The goods are then blessed by shamans to bring the owners good luck. The month-long event combines ancient ritual, elements of Catholicism — and plain consumer avarice.


Kumbh Mela: Washing away lifetimes of sins

The Indian festival of Kumbh Mela, or "Pitcher Festival," is the largest religious gathering in the world. Pilgrims come to wash away all their sins in sacred rivers at various locations in India — here, at the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati rivers in Allahabad. The festival is held only once every 12 years at any given place.


Kok Boru: A fierce equestrian sport

Kok Boru has long been played in Kyrgyzstan, and the country has its own special set of rules differentiating its version from similar games played in Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and other countries. The aim is to deposit the stuffed carcass of a goat in a well to score points. For players to pick up the carcass from the ground while they are mounted, great horseriding skills are needed.


A gentler tradition in the Netherlands

Windmills may seem rather too solid to be on a list of "intangible" heritage." But, in fact, it is the art of operating the some 1,200 Dutch windmills and watermills that has been nominated. Some are still operating commercially, but the tradition is being preserved mostly by volunteers.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is to decide what cultural treasures should be added to its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity -— a celebration of human diversity. DW presents some of the nominations.

The World Heritage Committee is set to choose from among 34 candidates seeking to be added to the list, which currently includes 365 traditions, including Indonesian batik, Turkish oil wrestling and the Mongolian coaxing ritual for camels.

This year's nominations cover a wide range of cultural practices, from weaving, wall painting and cuisine to various kinds of games.

The list, established in 2003, mainly aims to raise awareness of traditions that are sometimes in danger of falling into oblivion.

The committee's meeting on the South Korean island of Jeju starts on Monday and will last until Friday.