Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 11.COM 10.b.32

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Switzerland has nominated Winegrowers’ Festival in Vevey (No. 01201) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

In Vevey, Switzerland there is a tradition that recognizes the community’s winegrowers involving not only those in the industry but also members of the public and local artists. Originally a single pageant, the Winegrowers’ Festival now features 15 events over three weeks and 5,000 contributors. Taking place every twenty years, every festival is based on the recreation of a traditional theme, such as working the earth and vines, seasonal cycles and brotherhood. Pageants are held throughout the festival, as well as prizes awarded to the best winegrowers, music performed and songs sung such as the Ranz des Vaches (Alpine cow-herder’s song) and processions to the neighbouring town of La Tour-de-Peilz held. Costumed extras can also be seen, as well as grotesques (wooden figurines on sticks). The Winegrowers’ Festival involves mainly volunteers who spend several years preparing for it. Transmission occurs within families and by the not-for-profit association the Vevey Brotherhood of Winegrowers, which coordinates the festival and whose members also include the general public. The tradition encourages community spirit, helps to maintain the area’s artistic life and provides a sense of cultural continuity while facilitating the know-how of master winegrowers.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria:
R.1:   The element is managed by the association Vevey Brotherhood of Winegrowers, with the collaboration of other members of the community. Knowledge and skills related to the element are transmitted from generation to generation, in meetings organized by the Brotherhood, in families and groups of friends. The long-term planning between the festivals is a testament to the community’s dedication. The element contributes to the community’s artistic life, stimulates the know-how of master winegrowers, and maintains the community’s identity. It promotes social cohesion, enhancing a common spirit of voluntarism and plays the role of a decisive chronological marker. The file indicates that the element is compatible with human rights instruments and with the requirement of mutual respect, highlighting its non-discriminatory nature involving all people regardless of gender, profession, origin, nationality, or religion. It also indicates attention to sustainable use of resources and respect for the well-being of animals;
R.2:   The file indicates that inscription would enrich the range of similar festivals already inscribed and contribute to ensuring the visibility of ceremonies that honour the work and know-how of European rural populations. The proximity of a World Heritage property (Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces) highlights potential mutual benefits in terms of visibility and emphasizes the interdependence of intangible and tangible heritage. The festival provides a space where groups from different regions, generations, artists, linguistic communities, and countries across Europe come together to interact, encouraging dialogue and mutual respect. Their presence also promotes creativity and cultural diversity;
R.3:   The viability of the element is ensured by the Vevey Brotherhood of Winegrowers, which assumes responsibility for transmitting knowledge associated with the festival. It is also ensured by the numerous volunteers and festival participants. The submitting State provides public resources and personnel for security and a conducive legal framework. The proposed safeguarding measures, which have been developed in consultation with members of the brotherhood, include film-making, organizing exhibitions, publications, training, and projects in collaboration with the Lavaux World Heritage Association. Given the public nature of the element, the bearers have anticipated increased visibility and publicity and have devised means to manage this. Representing the local community, the brotherhood will be directly in charge of the implementation of the measures, with State support;
R.4:   A series of meetings were held during the nomination process where members of the brotherhood and community representatives took part in discussions and with the addition of other associations and regional authorities, gave their free, prior, and informed consent. Evidence to this effect has been annexed to the file. The submitting State confirms that there are no restrictions or customary practices governing access to the element;
R.5:   The file states that the element has been inscribed with the consent and assistance of practitioners and bearers both to the cantonal and national inventories of intangible cultural heritage. An extract of the inventory is provided as an annex. The file indicates that the next update of the inventory is planned for 2016-2018.
  1. Inscribes Winegrowers’ Festival in Vevey on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Commends the submitting State for demonstrating the close linkages between the proposed element of intangible heritage and tangible heritage associated with it.