Cherry festival in Sefrou
Inscribed in 2012 (7.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
- Cherry festival in Sefrou
For three days in June each year, the local population of Sefrou celebrates the natural and cultural beauty of the region, symbolized by the cherry fruit and that year’s newly chosen Cherry Queen, selected during a pageant that draws competitors from the region and entire country. The highlight of the festival is a parade with performing troupes, rural and urban music, majorettes and bands, and floats featuring local producers. At the centre is the Cherry Queen, who offers cherries to onlookers while dressed ornately and surrounded by attendants. The whole population contributes to the success of the festival: craftswomen make silk buttons for traditional dresses, fruit growers supply cherries, local sports clubs participate in competitions, and music and dancing troupes animate the entire festival. The cherry festival provides an opportunity for the entire city to present its activities and achievements. The younger generation are also integrated into festival activities to ensure their sustainability. The festival is a source of pride and belonging that enhances the self-esteem of the city and its people and constitutes a fundamental contribution to their local identity.
Decision 7.COM 11.23
The Committee (…) decides that [this element] satisfies the criteria for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, as follows:
- R.1: The nomination has defined the various cultural expressions that take place during the cherry festival, which is considered by the communities in Sefrou as an important carrier of their intangible cultural heritage; the social and the cultural functions are displayed in different activities during the annual organization of the festival;
- R.2: Inscription of the cherry festival on the Representative List could contribute to promoting visibility and awareness of the intangible cultural heritage among communities that have similar forms of cultural expressions;
- R.3: Safeguarding measures aimed at protecting and promoting the cherry festival include the creation of a museum and other important measures;
- R.4: Residents of Sefrou, non-governmental organizations and individual bearers contributed actively to the preparation of the nomination by providing necessary information and documentation and provided their free, prior and informed consent;
- R.5: The cherry festival in Sefrou is included in an inventory of intangible cultural heritage, managed and updated by the Ministry of Culture with the participation of bearers, non-governmental organizations, cultural institutions and the City Council of Sefrou.
Inscribes the cherry festival in Sefrou on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity;
Recommends the State Party to enhance the participation of the traditional bearers in the implementation of the proposed safeguarding measures.
© Aloula 2010
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