Friday, July 6, 2018

Limousin septennial ostensions - France

I'm crazy about UNESCO WHS, love to get cards of the heritage sites, to visit the sites and learn about them. However, UNESCO also protects intangible cultural heritages and it also has a list with the aim of ensuring better protection of these cultural heritages worldwide and the awareness of their significance. I've to confess that I've never paid much attention to these and I believe this is the 1st time I'm posting a card of a tradition classified as an Intangible Cultural Heritage. 
This card was sent by Damien. 

The Limousin septennial ostensions are grand ceremonies and processions organized every seventh year for the exhibition and worship of relics of Catholic saints kept in Limousin churches.

Widely supported by local towns and villages, the festivities are attended by great numbers of people who gather to see the reliquaries as they process through town, accompanied by flags, banners, decorations and costumed historical figures. The septennial ostensions belong to the whole population of Limousin, and the inhabitants – Christian and non-Christian alike – think of themselves as the keepers of the tradition. Confraternities and committees are actively involved in the transmission of knowledge (both oral and written), as well as the artefacts linked with this practice. Preparing the ostensions is a communal, year-long undertaking that mobilizes the knowledge and skills of many craftspeople, local clergy, councillors, charities and volunteers, as well as choirs, bands and musical groups, in organizing the festivities and renewing the memory of the ostensions. The preparations also help to strengthen social bonds, while the festivities play an important role in helping recently arrived or former inhabitants to integrate and in reuniting families as relatives return to join in the celebrations. - in:

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