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Greece Nominates Epirus Festivals for UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Listing

A view of the village of Syrrαko in Epirus, Greece. Photo Credit: Flyax, Wikimedia Commons.

The Greek Ministry of Culture recently submitted an application to UNESCO in hopes that by the time of the traditional village celebrations of Epirus’ Syrrako and Vlasti on August 15, they will be included on UNESCO‘s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

The traditional annual festivals of the two villages, nestled in the Tzoumerka Mountains in Epirus include two colorful music and folk dance events, all revolving around the religious holiday called the Dormition of the Virgin.

These much-anticipated annual rites, celebrated for many centuries, are identified by the local people of Epirus as significant elements of their cultural heritage.

The knowledge of how to perform these celebrations is passed from one generation to the next, and these customs shape a sense of collective identity and continuity for these two picturesque mountainous communities.

In the past, similar events took place at the time of every major religious celebration; however, nowadays they are mainly conducted on the day of the Dormition of the Virgin, known in Greece as ”Dekapentaugoustos” – August 15th.

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