Heritage and Education (2020)

For the 2020 edition of the European Heritage Days we are celebrating heritage and education!

From the beginning, education has been a core part of the EHD initiative and is woven through all of what we do. It underpins the many events that take place across Europe each year, whether it’s a hands-on workshop for a few or a large online public exhibition. When we work to engage 5-year-olds or 95-year-olds, we want the EHD 2020 initiative to leave a legacy that showcases the potential of heritage as a tool for learning, and as an inspiration for the future.

As well as being a rich resource for education, the heritage of education itself offers a doorway to our shared European heritage and the legacy that has left with us today. From the important role that Latin played in the life of medieval scholars across Europe, to its current use as the language of botany, science and technology means there are many educational links today that we continue to share across our European borders.

There was a time when most of us could read the night sky, had some basic knowledge of which plants we could eat from the wild and which ones might cure a stomach ache.We could build and furnish our own homes, grow our own food, repair our clothes, shoes, thatch roofs and metal gates, make our own jewellery, tell our own stories and teach our own children.

What you learned as a child depended on your location, your social station, local resources and geography, and was often based on what you needed to know to survive. Today, learning is more uniform - one size fits all. The same text books are used across a country and the specifics of local landscape, local materials and the local climate are not seen as relevant to most people when they go to school today. This has led to a disconnect from the places where we live, the local wildlife, geography and landscape, and the local problems that need local solutions.

At a time of real concern about our changing environment there is so much that we can take from our forebears and adapt to our current needs. Heritage is not just for special days. It has the potential to offer creative solutions to problems and help us to re-imagine how we can utilise our past to provide new ideas for a different tomorrow.

For #EuropeanHeritageDays 2020 we want you to find a re-connection to the knowledge, traditions or skills that defined your place, and in so doing re-imagine what education could mean for the 21st century.

Find inspiration for your events in our 101 Event Ideas brochure in English and in French.

Countries involved

Previous themes

Arts and Entertainment (2019)

From Shakespeare’s sonnets to Insta-poets’ viral poems, cabaret performances to nightclubbing, and archery to virtual reality gaming, European arts and entertainment heritage has transformed throughout the ages, together with its makers, admirers and custodians. For centuries, arts and entertainment have been providing solace, comic relief and thought-provoking ideas to millions. Most importantly, these facets of common heritage gave form to European cultural identity by captivating the continent, and the world, one play, one note, one shape, and one line, at a time. European Heritage Days 2019 are celebrating this powerful aspect of common heritage by inviting its 50 participatory countries to give “Arts and Entertainment” centre stage this September.

It will be exciting to witness diverse European cultural traditions share a collective stage at the 2019 European Heritage Days. From street shows to concert halls, traditional theaters and museums to modern cinema and digital art, entertainment heritage of Europe will play out on local, national and European stages for visitors and guests of all ages to enjoy. The all-encompassing theme will include sports, photography, tourism, circus, fairs, visual arts, cinema, radio, and television among other entertainment-inspired art forms.

The visitors will be given access to some of the most remarkable and iconic places that have shaped the arts and entertainment as we know it. Libraries that host first editions of some of the greatest masterpieces of all time; concert halls and theatres that have stood the test of time to tell the story of the origin of European entertainment heritage; and the most interesting architectural sights will all be open for exploration and inspiration to all generations of heritage enthusiasts. Outstanding dance, opera and theater performances will be accompanied by striking mime, ventriloquism, magic and street art shows at the 2019 European Heritage Days celebrations. People all over Europe will be given opportunity to experience the enormous potential of various art and entertainment forms to unite artists, spectators and participants in one beautiful, cultural mosaic.

The joint effort of National Coordinators, heritage communities and volunteers will provide the opportunity for the 2019 EHDs to pick up where the successful 2018 celebrations left off. By taking an active part in honoring arts and entertainment that cross boundaries between nations, languages and customs, the 50 participatory countries will make Europe come to life in harmonious rhythm of rich artistic expression.

January 1st, 2019

European Year of Cultural Heritage (2018)

From archaeological sites to architecture, from medieval castles to folklore traditions and arts, Europe's cultural heritage is at the very heart of the collective memory and identity of European citizens. European rich national, regional and local diversity is a unique catalyst for exchanges between people of all ages, social backgrounds and cultures. The European Year of Cultural Heritage will be a truly European initiative with a series of events taking place at all levels: European, national, regional and local.

It will be an opportunity to involve citizens from all backgrounds, in particular children and young people, in events and projects emphasising Europe's heritage and values, helping to strengthen a sense of belonging to a European family. The objective is to allow increased access to heritage for all and encourage people to get involved in managing and caring for it. The Year will also provide the opportunity to debate, reflect on and make a 'quality leap' in preserving and restoring heritage. The involvement of Member States and cultural heritage stakeholders will be key to the success of the Year. In addition, the Year will highlight the strong economic role that cultural heritage plays. More than 300,000 people are directly employed in the European cultural heritage sector and 7.8 million European jobs are indirectly linked to cultural heritage, for example in tourism and building work, as well as ancillary services such as transport, interpretation services and maintenance and security of cultural sites.

The 50 European countries taking part in the European Heritage Days have decided to take active part or give credit to the European Year of Cultural Heritage through the common vision of "The Art of Sharing". For full list of countries being involved directly in the EYCH please visit europa.eu/cultural-heritage/

January 1st, 2018

Heritage and Nature (2017)
In this year’s edition of the #EHDs we are celebrating the intrinsic relationship between people and nature under the common theme: “Heritage and Nature: A Landscape of Possibilities”. Emphasis is given to heritage values embodied in nature and to the extent to which the environment shapes people's lives and lifestyles and its contribution to their well-being and socio-economic prosperity. The events taking place in urban nature sites, historic gardens, national reserves, home yards, national parks, heritage biotopes, protected areas, every day and outstanding landscape will help people to connect to nature and explore its diversity and cultural values.

January 1st, 2017

Future themes

There are no future themes.