On 17 October 2003, at the 32nd session of its General Conference in Paris, UNESCO adopted the Convention Concerning the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. This Convention is the result of many years of efforts by the international community, with Bulgaria’s active participation, to adopt an international instrument to regulate and support the work of the State Parties to protect, revitalise, safeguard and ensure continuity of the intangible manifestations of traditional culture.
In the meaning of the Convention, “intangible cultural heritage" is mainly found in the following areas:
(a) oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage;
(b) performing arts;
(c) social practices, rituals and festive events;
(d) knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;
(e) traditional craftsmanship.
“Safeguarding" means measures to ensure the viability of intangible cultural heritage, including its identification, documentation, research, preservation and protection, development, exploitation, promotion and transmission, particularly through formal and non-formal education, as well as the revitalization of the various aspects of such heritage.
The Convention has so far been ratified and adopted by 88 UNESCO State Parties. It was ratified by the National Assembly of the Republic of Bulgaria and became effective on 10 June 2006.