Have you ever been to a new destination and wondered what makes the place so interesting and unique? Whether you attend a traditional festival or enjoy the cultural heritage of humanity, there are so many fascinating ways that a country or region will try to stay in tune with their local legacy. As time goes on, new generations are born and a lot of the historical features that make somewhere unique, start to fade and disappear. Many people don’t wish to see their legacies die out, so they find ways to keep their traditions alive. Many communities worldwide will hold a local festival that shows tourists what makes them different to other communities.
By holding a traditional festival, they’re able to invite tourists to both witness and take part in the activities that hold a special place in the local region’s history. Holding a local festival like this introduces newcomers to the old way which in turn helps to keep the tradition alive. If a tradition is repeatedly upheld, it is much harder for it to disappear. So when you consider than many groups of people with sacred traditions choose to create a local festival for this exact reason, you’ll notice that the cultural heritage of humanity as a whole, won’t fade away as quickly.
Here are some examples of traditions that are being protected through a local festival like the ones above:
In Poland, there’s a UNESCO heritage traditional dance that has been performed since the 17th century. Originally this dance was performed as an opening ceremony to royal balls. Over time it has become a staple dance in Poland’s history that is still performed today. You can see this beautiful event take place at a traditional festival – The Krakow Dance Festival held in July-August annually.
In Ireland, another UNESCO heritage tradition is harp playing. It’s been a national favourite for over 1,000 years. Not only does this instrument offer a soothing sound that pairs perfectly with folklore and Irish mythology, but it’s enjoyed in a traditional festival held once a year. The International Harp Festival takes place in June and is helping keep this tradition alive.
In China, the Peking opera started in Beijing during the Qing Dynasty. It wasn’t fully developed to the style it is today, until the 19th century. It consists of opera singing, dancing, instruments and acrobatics and was added to the UNESCO list in 2010. You can watch this creative opera in multiple destinations performed by the travelling performance troupe across a range of dates.
As you can see, people are holding on to their heritage and rich histories through each local festival and event. But if tourist’s didn’t attend these events and the younger generations didn’t take part, many of these traditions would have vanished already. That’s why it’s so important for travellers to look for these events and take part. You should consider attending a local festival during your travels too; Because the best way to protect the cultural heritage of humanity as a whole, is to start by saving and experiencing each tradition individually.
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