Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 16.COM 8.B.34

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Portugal has nominated Community festivities in Campo Maior (no. 01604) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

The Community Festivities of Campo Maior is a popular event during which the streets of Campo Maior in Portugal are decorated with millions of paper flowers in various shapes, colours and patterns. The community, which is organized in street commissions, decides the date and develops the concept of the decorative elements and the colour theme. Members then work on the decorations over a period of nine months. Preparations typically take place at night, in homes or in storage areas. The practice strengthens creativity and community belonging, and there is a sense of a friendly competition between street commissions to see which street will have the most original and colourful design. The decorations are thus kept secret until the eve of the festivities, when the town is completely transformed overnight. The result is the creation of a colourful, festive town, with open doors and no social distinctions. On the day of the festival, the community fills the streets. The Community Festivities started as a religious celebration called ‘Festivities in Honour of St. John the Baptist’. Although they haven’t had that title since 1921, the saint’s presence still endures, with his image carried through the streets in a small procession. The practice is transmitted within families and in schools.

  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 popular manifestation involving extensive participation of the local community. The knowledge bearers are members of the community, which is organized in street commissions and develops the concept of decorative elements and colour themes. Women play a key role in the organization and manufacture of the decorative elements. Transmission is carried out informally, with parents teaching their skills to their children. In addition, at primary, middle and secondary school levels, educational programmes have been developed dedicated to the transfer of knowledge associated with the element. The practice of the element strengthens the sense of community belonging, demonstrates entrepreneurship and creative capacity and contributes to income generation. The file asserts that the local community is able to participate in the element on a wide-scale and non-discriminatory basis.

R.2:  At the local level, inscription will increase the community’s self-esteem and enhance the visibility of neighbouring festivities such as the one found in nearby Redondo. At the national level, attention will be drawn to the region, which in turn will contribute to its prosperity, support the element’s viability and increase awareness about the importance of participatory processes in accomplishing shared goals. At the international level, inscription will highlight the role of community volunteerism in bringing the element forward as well as the inclusive nature of the element, which brings together various generations and variations of cultural expression, including those of immigrant populations. The element itself ensures continuous respect for human creativity via the decorative concepts developed by communities.

R.3:  Existing measures to maintain the viability of the element have been undertaken largely by the Community Festivities of Campo Maior Association. The street commissions have been in charge of measures to transmit and promote creative activities such as traditional flower-making, music and dance. A series of measures and actions, along with its purpose, budget and responsible entity, are outlined in the file. Measures include the rehabilitation of the urban space of the festivities, awareness-raising programmes through school curricula, research, a conference and the creation of a museum space.

R.4:  The community was involved in the inventorying process and the preparation of the nomination forms. Information about the element and for the nomination was also provided by the communities themselves. Meetings on the organization and preparation of the festival are led by the community members. Although standardized letters were used to obtain the consent of practitioners, the State Party also developed a video clip that features the practitioners’ voices, their views on the element and their wish for the element to be nominated and inscribed.

R.5:  The element was included in Portugal’s National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory in 2018 and is administered by the General Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Direção Geral do Património Cultural). The inventory is updated every ten years as an ordinary review or at any time due to changes in the element through a Registration Update.

  1. Decides to inscribe Community festivities in Campo Maior on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
  2. Invites the State Party to include detailed information in its next periodic report on the implementation of the Convention at the national level concerning the periodicity of updating of the National Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory, in accordance with Article 12.1 of the Convention;
  3. Commends the State Party on the preparation of an excellent supporting video.