Public presentation of the new intangible cultural heritage elements and certificate awarding ceremony was held at Vilnius Town Hall

Eleven new elements were inscribed to the list

Public presentation of the new intangible cultural heritage elements and certificate awarding ceremony was held on 28 March at Vilnius Town Hall.

This year 11 new elements have been added to the Lithuanian Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory. Eight living heritage elements have been added, including the traditions of Barn Theater Tradition in Tautkaičiai Region, Lithuanian Heraldry Tradition, The Tradition of the Use of the Yiddish Dialect of Lithuanian Jews (Litvaks) in Lithuania, Šiupinys Celebration in Lithuania Minor, Traditional Relationship Between Human and Forest in Lithuania, Amber Hunting on the Coast of Lithuania, The Mojavos (May Prayers) of Šukionys Village, Indulgence Feast of St. Mary Magdalene in Veiviržėnai.

Alongside the growing number of elements of living heritage in the Inventory, the examples of the Revival of the Horse Ploughing Tradition in Lazdijai Region, Lithuanian Bath Academy, The Practices of Reviving Kafija Drinking Culture in Lithuania Minor in 2023 thus initiating a category of the good practices of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.

Barn Theater Tradition in Tautkaičiai Region. The tradition of folk amateur theater – Klojimo teatras / Barn Theatre - that was born at the end of the 19th century in the countryside of Lithuania is still a vibrant amateur theater phenomenon. One of the most prominent nurturers of this tradition is the Tautkaičiai Barn Theater “Gegnė”. This theater meets all the characteristics of the genre - it has its own traditional venue for performances - a barn - and local non-professional actors of various ages. It stages plays with uncomplicated characters that can be easily played by the performers, and simple, clear and dynamic plots easily understood by the audiences.

Lithuanian Heraldry Tradition. Heraldic practice is currently experiencing a renaissance. Characterized by specific techniques and certain rules, heraldic art is nurtured by scientists and artists with special training and the necessary skills. Existing and newly created coats of arms and heraldic signs are used as symbols that unite families, clans, communities, and the entire nation. They perform a communicative function: they display the history and status of the state, institutions, families, and cherished traditions, and they perpetuate the memory of important events.

The Tradition of the Use of the Yiddish Dialect of Lithuanian Jews (Litvaks) in Lithuania. Litvish - a dialect of non-Hebrew Jewish languages - is extremely rich in terms of vocabulary and grammatical forms, and culturally influential in the global Jewish diaspora. Due to its rich and significant cultural, religious, and literary heritage, and the activities of the YIVO Institute for scientific research of Jewish culture, which operated in Vilnius in the 3rd decade of the 20th century, the Lithuanian Yiddish dialect became the grammatical and literary standard of modern literary Yiddish.

Šiupinys Celebration in Lithuania Minor. Šiupinys - a ceremonial meal of archaic origin, cooked from peas, groats, potatoes, and a pig’s head, legs, and tail - is mentioned in the written sources of Lithuania Minor from the 18th century. After 1990, the Lietuvininkai community “Mažoji Lietuva” revived the Šiupinys celebration in Klaipėda. Traditionally, it takes place every year in various communities and evangelical Lutheran parishes in Klaipėda, Šilutė, Priekulė and others. Community members and parishioners of various ages gather to spend time together, chat, sing praises to God, play music, sing, and perform other communal tasks.

Traditional Relationship Between Human and Forest in Lithuania. The relationship between human and forest is a cultural phenomenon of Lithuanians, arising from the worldview, knowledge, skills and practices of individuals, communities, and the entire nation. This relationship is closely related to the way of life in forested areas and the cultivation of some traditional crafts.

Amber Hunting on the Coast of Lithuania. Since ancient times, people have tried to gather amber in various ways - digging from the bottom of the lagoon, pulling it by diving, etc., but the main method - catching with scoop-nets - has remained as it was. How many amber nuggets are caught depends on many things: weather conditions, the number and strength of storms, wind, currents, wave height and direction, and the knowledge and experience of the amber hunters.

The Mojavos (May Prayers) of Šukionys Village. Preparations for the prayers are made in advance. The hosts install a homemade altar with the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, adorn the house with posies of birch branches and flowers, place sacred candles, prepare benches, cut the grass, and clean the house. At an agreed time, usually in the evening after the completion of farmwork and housework, neighbors gather, usually 16-30 people - mostly women, a few men, and children. Four generations of believers participate in the prayers, led by a female member of the community who is an experienced leader of the May prayers.

Indulgence Feast of St. Mary Magdalene in Veiviržėnai. The Indulgence Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene are not very common in Lithuania. Four churches are named after this saint, but the Feast of Saint Mary Magdalene are also celebrated in some other parishes without connecting them to the actual title of the church.

Revival of the Horse Ploughing Tradition in Lazdijai Region. In the Lazdijai region, the tradition of ploughing with horses, which has deep roots but has already disappeared in many parts of Lithuania, is being successfully revived. This method of cultivating the relatively infertile soils of Dzūkija region is practiced on small farms (there are about 20 of them), whose owners invest less in modern equipment and still use horsedrawn ploughs, cooperating with other farmers who practice traditional ploughing.

Lithuanian Bath Academy. The theoretical and practical trainings organized by the Lithuanian Bath Academy gave impetus to the study of the tradition, the creative growth of its practitioners, and the transmission of the tradition in communities. The activity of the Academy has developed from a dozen educational seminars per year to an interdisciplinary non-formal education system, offering training of various types and levels – from introductory seminars, to “Family Bath Master” training for those who want to practice the tradition within the family circle, to a “Professional Bath Master” course, the completion of which requires passing theory and practice exams.

The Practices of Reviving Kafija Drinking Culture in Lithuania Minor. Kafija is prepared from purchased coffee beans or local raw materials (oak acorns, carrots, chicory, barley, wheat, or rye). This kind of Kafija hour eventually moved from manors and cities’ coffee-houses to the homes of Lietuvininkai. These days, the tradition is alive among the elderly residents of the region, who often, especially on Sundays, get together after the religious service in the parish house or in the nearest caffee-house for a “Kafija hour”. As a tradition of bringing families together, Palaunagė is a disappearing cultural phenomenon. To preserve this tradition and revive the culture of Kafija drinking, various regional communities, associations, cultural institutions, and companies record living forms of the phenomenon, publicize the tradition, organize educational culinary heritage classes and other events dedicated to it.

The Lithuanian Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory has been under development since 2017. The Inventory currently includes 66 elements – oral traditions and expressions, performing arts, social practices, rituals and festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, traditional craftsmanship present in its territory and good practices of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.

The Inventory is compiled by the Lithuanian National Centre for Culture on behalf of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania, in cooperation with municipalities, assigned specialists, cultural and scientific institutions, non-governmental organizations and communities. Everyone can contribute to the process of safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage and to the creation of the Inventory, therefore, every spring, proposals of elements and consultations are open, and in autumn, applications are accepted.

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Created on: 2024-04-05 16:18:12 Modified on: 2024-04-05 17:14:19
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