Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 16.COM 8.B.33

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Poland has nominated Flower carpets tradition for Corpus Christi processions (no. 01743) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The tradition of arranging flower carpets is inherently linked to the feast of Corpus Christi in Poland. For the feast, which typically involves a mass followed by a joyful procession from the church to the streets, families in several villages use flowers to arrange colourful and symbolic carpets on the route of the procession, usually on the road section in front of their homes. The flower carpets cover the road running from the church through the village and can reach almost two kilometres in length. The flowers used are picked from the surrounding fields or from family gardens. Soil, sand, tree bark and freshly cut grass or calamus leaves may also be used. Families start collecting flowers a few days before the celebration and begin the process of arranging the carpets early on the morning of Corpus Christi. The preparation lasts several hours, and the end result is an ephemeral and collective art piece meant to express religiosity, creativity and an appreciation of the beauty of nature. The tradition unites the entire community and has shaped local identity. The practice has been passed on for generations, especially within families. Pattern-making workshops are also regularly held in schools, with support from the parish and non-governmental organizations.

  1. Considers that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

R.1:  The element is a collective practice of preparing and installing flower carpets on the feast of Corpus Christi. The preparation of flower carpets is a skill that has been passed on for generations, especially within families, where children learn by observing and participating. Pattern-making workshops are regularly held in local schools, with support from the parish and non-governmental organizations. Many of the activities are organized by the parish association. These include workshops, trips, research, seminars and the creation of archives, publications, videos and photos, all of which help raise awareness about local heritage. There are no gender-specific roles and everyone can actively participate in creating the carpets.

R.2:  At the local level, inscription would raise awareness of the presence of intangible cultural heritage in rural areas and therefore increase respect for local tradition. At the national level, inscription would raise general awareness of the diversity of local and regional Corpus Christi traditions across the country as well as awareness about the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage elements. At the international level, inscription would reinforce bonds among generations of Poles and Germans who share this tradition. It would also encourage dialogue by providing an example of intangible cultural heritage that integrates national minorities and fosters reconciliation processes.

R.3:  The nomination clarified the community’s contribution to ensuring the element’s sustainability through the practice, which dates back 120 years, through the publication of photo albums, documentaries, scientific research and seminars, and by supporting the element’s transmission, especially to children. State efforts involved conducting academic research, monitoring marketing risks and providing financial and institutional support. An integrated safeguarding proposal has been developed for the element and entails improving the road infrastructure where the carpet is placed, addressing the risks of globalization and migration and implementing additional documentation and educational activities. The role of the community in the development of the safeguarding measures and its implementation is established.

R.4:  The concerned communities were involved throughout the nomination process during the preparatory workshops about the Convention and the file preparation itself. Communities were consulted on the text of the paragraphs and were able to provide feedback and clarify doubts. The process of engagement occurred in all related communities and free, prior and informed consent was procured through the parishioners and bearers signing their names after being informed of the full process regarding the preparation and submission of the file. There are no rules governing access. It is an inclusive exercise involving all genders, ages and groups.

R.5:  The element was included on the National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage on 14 February 2018 and 10 March 2020. The inventory is administered by the National Heritage Board and the Council for Intangible Cultural Heritage. Elements are included in the inventory after they are submitted and reviewed by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Council, which meets three to four times per year. It is implied, but not explicit in the file, that the Minister of Culture and National Heritage inscribes elements based on the advice of the Council. The inventory is updated every five years based on the reports submitted by the concerned communities and practitioners.

  1. Decides to inscribe Flower carpets tradition for Corpus Christi processions on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Commends the State Party on the preparation of a well-elaborated file and on a well-prepared video that demonstrates strong community participation.