Traditional British Panto To Be Recognised By UNESCO

British Traditions Recognised By UNESCO

Aladdin pantomime. Credit: KlickingKarl/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

THE UK Government has announced its decision to join the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. It will see beloved traditions such as the traditional British Christmas pantomime gain formal recognition. Oh yes it will!

As well as well-known nationwide events a public consultation has been launched to determine the UK’s approach to forming a new register for local traditions.

This register will list traditions cherished by communities up and down the country. It aims to celebrate practices ranging from festive events, such as pantomime and carol-singing, to artisanal crafts like the art of making a Christmas wreath.

Local communities throughout the UK now have the opportunity to nominate their prized traditions for inclusion, such as sea shanties, ceilidh and calligraphy.

From seasonal events like Shrove Tuesday, a variety of customs could be officially acknowledged. Even traditions from immigrant communities, such as Notting Hill Carnival, are eligible for nomination.

Celebrating Diverse Cultural Heritage

The convention aims to protect practices that contribute significantly to national life and community identity. These traditions, often referred to as ‘intangible cultural heritage’ or ‘living heritage’, are inherited and passed on to future generations.

Arts and Heritage Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay stated, ‘The UK is rich in traditions which are passed down from generation to generation. These crafts, customs, and celebrations have helped to shape our communities and bring people together, who continue to shape them in turn.’

By joining the convention, the UK government will acknowledge important traditions just as it recognises physical heritage sites. The public’s views are being sought on how traditions should be nominated and adjudicated.


UK Government minister for Scotland, John Lamont, said: ‘Hogmanay, Burns Night and ceilidh dancing are Scottish traditions celebrated across the world and now we will be able to give them recognition alongside those from around the UK as part of this international convention.’


Welsh Secretary David TC Davies commented, ‘We have a huge number of wonderful traditions and customs in Wales that help make our nation unique and distinct and it’s great that many of these will now be formally recorded and recognised.’

One of these is the Welsh tradition of holding Eisteddfodau, where all cultural activities including singing and spoken word are conducted in the Welsh language.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Minister of State Steve Baker added, ‘Northern Ireland has a rich culture, and I welcome this initiative to enable communities to nominate what matters to them for recognition.’

This initiative underscores the importance of preserving cultural heritage, ensuring its transmission to future generations, and celebrating the UK’s diverse cultural identity.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.