UN accolade for Turkey and Vietnam traditions

11th Dec 2012

Traditions originating in Vietnam and Turkey are among those given a United Nations cultural accolade.

The Vietnamese worship of the Hung kings in Phu Tho has been put on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (Unesco) List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The annual tradition sees pilgrims commemorating their ancestors and praying for good weather and plentiful harvests in Vietnam with communities cooking up local delicacies, providing artefacts to worship and putting on traditional folk performances.

Meanwhile, Turkey's Mesir Macunu festival was also put on the list by a committee meeting at Unesco's Paris headquarters.

The festival in Manisa marks the recovery of Suleiman the Magnificent's mother from a disease that was cured by a paste known as "mesir macunu". Each March the paste is prepared, wrapped, blessed and scattered from the domes of the Sultan Mosque with thousands gathering from throughout Turkey to try and catch pieces as they fall. It is believed those lucky enough to catch a piece of the paste will see their wishes for marriage, work and children come true within a year.

Other traditions recognised by the Paris Unesco meeting originate in Romania, Spain, Venezuela, Oman, Austria and Hungary.

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