In over thirty years of celebrations, European Heritage Days has inspired numerous local traditions. One-day events have evolved into mini festivals, while certain experiences came to be known as cultural events of the year.
Deeply rooted in local traditions, ancient histories or old customs, these events are highly anticipated by citizens every year. Even as European Heritage Days common themes change, they remain relevant to both new and old visitors. Below are some of the most exciting local traditions that enable citizens to explore their heritage every year.
1. Heritage-Themed Flash Mob in Yerevan, Armenia
European Heritage Days in Armenia have become known for their spectacular opening. Complementing the official opening ceremony, a flash mob that marks the beginning of the festival turns the streets of Yerevan into a pageant of traditional singing and dancing. Although mainly spontaneous, this event has become a symbol of Yerevan’s heritage celebrations that include an exciting programme every year.
2. Audio-Visual Experience in Lille, France
One of the most striking audio-visual heritage experiences in France is the video mapping contest in Lille, which has become a well-known European Heritage Days tradition. Taking place at a different historic building every year, the event makes the city’s iconic facades come to life in an incredible show of sound and light.
The material presented on the chosen façade using a video-mapping techniques is provided by creative individuals who submit their works for the competition. In 2018, these works were featured at the 17th century Vieille Bourse, while the 2017 contest took place at Porte de Paris, providing a unique form of narration.
Video Mapping Contest 2018 : SCAREMONGER, Vieille Bourse, Lille - septembre 2018 from Rencontres Audiovisuelles on Vimeo.
3. Days of Bac, Serbia
What started as a local European Heritage Days celebration over a decade ago has recently transformed into a several days-long festival. Taking place in Bac, a small historic town of Vojvodina, the Days of Bac are organised every year with an aim to celebrate the city’s rich heritage and history. The festival includes a full programme of heritage-inspired concerts, workshops, and gatherings that enable visitors to reconnect with their traditions and pass them to new generations.
4. The Visit to The President’s Residence in Paris, France
One of the most popular European Heritage Days in the entire France is the opening of the Palais de l’Elysée in Paris. Only on this occasion, the citizens of Paris and numerous visitors have an opportunity to take a free tour through the President’s Residence and learn more about its history and architecture. In 2019, the European Heritage Days events in Paris are taking place between 15 and 18 September and the visit to the president’s residence is once again expected to be one of the most visited events.
5. Bearers of the Tradition of Folk Crafts in the Czech Republic
Inspired by a UNESCO pilot project - “Living Human Treasures” the Folk Tradition Bearers project aims to promote and preserve traditional production technology and crafts. Beginning in 2000, the initiative gathers and awards best potters, smiths, carvers, hatchet men, weavers, embroiderers, basket makers, cobblers and a unique stone grinder makers who are keeping the tradition alive. Moreover, visitors at the European Heritage Days celebrations each year have the opportunity to learn from the craftsmen and pass the cultural tradition on to the future generations.
Inspired by European Heritage Days, these traditions reflect the everlasting excitement of heritage exploration. The changing times and generations only strengthen the interest in revisiting these places and rediscovering their unique stories.