The Historical Processions of Mendrisio are listed among living Swiss Traditions.
The living traditions represent an intangible cultural heritage. On 16 October 2008 Switzerland joined the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, thus confirming the importance of living traditions and undertaking to draw up an inventory of Swiss living traditions.
The list, which is regularly updated with the useful cooperation of cantonal services assigned to cultural affairs, currently includes 167 Swiss traditions selected by specialists, cantonal representatives and the Swiss Commission for the UNESCO under the guidance of the Federal Office of Culture and based on the proposals of the Cantons.
Every tradition has a detailed description, links and useful information to contact those who practice the traditions, and is currently considered the core requisite to draw up a list of living traditions to be proposed to the UNESCO, which will implement a selection procedure as it does regarding the world heritage.
By joining the UNESCO Convention and acknowledging the traditional value of the events entered in the list, Switzerland has declared its goals:
- to build awareness in the extensive public of the importance of practicing and transmitting living traditions;
- to promote recognition of those who support living traditions;
- to create the premise for additional initiatives and partnerships focused on promoting the practice of living traditions.