Decision of the Intergovernmental Committee: 8.COM 8.7

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Brazil has nominated Círio de Nazaré (the Taper of Our Lady of Nazareth) in the city of Belém, Pará (No. 00602) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The Círio de Nazaré festival in Belém honours Our Lady of Nazareth. The main procession concludes the festivities on the second Sunday of October, when a wooden image of Our Lady of Nazareth is carried from Sé Cathedral to Sanctuary Square­­­, but the celebrations start in August and run until fifteen days after the procession. Almost the entire city participates and vast numbers of pilgrims travel from across Brazil to attend what is one of the world’s largest religious gatherings. The celebration incorporates numerous cultural elements that reflect Brazil’s multicultural society, including Amazonian culture and cuisine, and crafts such as toys made of local palm wood. The blending of the sacred and the profane gives this event religious, aesthetic, touristic, social and cultural dimensions. Boats play a symbolic role in the procession as Our Lady of Nazareth is the patron saint of sailors. Devotees create small altars in their homes, shops, bars, markets and public institutions. Transmission occurs within families, with small children and teenagers accompanying their parents to the festivities. For many, the Círio is an annual homecoming; for others, it is a space for political demonstrations.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List:

R.1:   The Círio embodies the diversity of beliefs and cultural expressions that characterizes Brazilian society; the transmission from generation to generation of the know-how associated to its various components remains strong within families;

R.2:   Inscription on the Representative List of the Círio de Nazaré, celebrated by a wide range of social and cultural groups from Belém and the entire country of Brazil, could encourage dialogue, especially between popular and institutionalized forms of religiosity;

R.3    The safeguarding measures aim at enhancing knowledge transmission, promotion and memory of the element; given the size of the celebration, measures of security and accessibility are put in place to guarantee the safety of the festivities;

R.4:   The Board of the Festival together with a wide range of associations involved in the Círio of Nazaré participated in the nomination process and provided their free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   On the communities’ initiative, the Círio de Nazaré was included in the Book of Celebrations of the National Register of Cultural Assets in 2004; the Register is administered by the Institute of National Historic and Artistic Heritage and communities are involved in all stages of the inventorying process.

  1. Inscribes Círio de Nazaré (the Taper of Our Lady of Nazareth) in the city of Belém, Pará on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Regrets the poor linguistic quality of the file and that information was often not included in its proper place and takes note that the text was not sufficiently elaborated, within the word limits allowed.