UNESCO added 39 traditions to its cultural heritage list in December 2021, including some from countries represented for the first time.
The traditions, which come from all over the world, were added by the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, according to UNESCO. This year's decision was a landmark for Montenegro, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo, Denmark, the Seychelles, the Federated States of Micronesia, Timor-Leste, Iceland, and Haiti, which each had something presented for inscription on the list for the first time.
The Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists currently feature 630 elements from 140 countries.
The list now includes a range of cultural traditions from Arabic calligraphy to falconry, Danish Inuit drum dancing and singing, Maltese folksong, Haitian soup, and even truffle hunting in Italy.
In addition to the traditions that have been added, UNESCO also placed four things on its List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, including nomad games, rediscovering heritage, and celebrating diversity in Kyrgyzstan; and success story of promoting traditional foods and safeguarding traditional foodways in Kenya.
In July, UNESCO also added several new additions to its World Heritage list, including Madrid's Retiro Park and the Trans-Iranian Railway. In total, there are more than 1,100 World Heritage sites around the world spread over 167 countries, a combination of cultural, natural, and mixed sites, according to the group.
These are the traditions that have been added to this year's Intangible Cultural Heritage List and the countries where they take place.
United Arab Emirates, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czechia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic: Falconry, a living human heritage
Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen: Arabic calligraphy, knowledge, skills and practices
Denmark; Finland; Iceland; Norway; Sweden: Nordic clinker boat traditions
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Congo: Congolese rumba
Plurinational State of Bolivia: Grand Festival of Tarija
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela: Festive cycle around the devotion and worship towards Saint John the Baptist
Ecuador: Pasillo, song and poetry
Panama: Dances and expressions associated with the Corpus Christi Festivity
Peru: Pottery-related values, knowledge, lore and practices of the Awajún people
Thailand: Nora, dance drama in southern Thailand
Viet Nam: Art of Xòe dance of the Tai people in Viet Nam
India: Durga Puja in Kolkata
Sri Lanka: Traditional craftsmanship of making Dumbara Ratā Kalāla
Turkmenistan: Dutar making craftsmanship and traditional music performing art combined with singing
Madagascar: Malagasy Kabary, the Malagasy oratorical art
Senegal: Ceebu Jën, a culinary art of Senegal
Iraq: Traditional craft skills and arts of Al-Naoor
Palestine: The art of embroidery in Palestine, practices, skills, knowledge and rituals
Syrian Arab Republic: Al-Qudoud al-Halabiya
Turkey: Hüsn-i Hat, traditional calligraphy in Islamic art in Turkey
Finland: Kaustinen fiddle playing and related practices and expressions
Denmark: Inuit drum dancing and singing
Malta: L-Għana, a Maltese folksong tradition
Portugal: Community festivities in Campo Maior
Bulgaria: Visoko multipart singing from Dolen and Satovcha, South-western Bulgaria
Ukraine: Ornek, a Crimean Tatar ornament and knowledge about it
Belgium: Namur stilt jousting
Italy: Truffle hunting and extraction in Italy, traditional knowledge and practice
Netherlands: Corso culture, flower and fruit parades in the Netherlands
Uzbekistan: Bakhshi art
Montenegro: Cultural Heritage of Boka Navy Kotor: a festive representation of a memory and cultural identity
Poland: Flower carpets tradition for Corpus Christi processions
Haiti: Joumou soup
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.