The Weissmies (4017m): view to-wards the southeast with alpinists climbing, 3 August 2015 © Jürg Huber
The Weissmies (4017m): view to-wards the southeast with alpinists climbing, 3 August 2015 © Jürg Huber

Living traditions are our intangible cultural heritage. In other words, Intangible cultural heritage refers to all traditions and practices that are passed down from one generation to the next and which provide us with a sense of identity and continuity. These can range from stories and legends, to music and dance, customs and festivals, right up to traditional know-how and skills. Intangible cultural heritage is not only diverse, but also comes in all manner of forms, and, unlike our tangible cultural heritage, it is constantly evolving and changing.

Federal Office of Culture
Section culture and society
Hallwylstrasse 15
3003 Bern

Latest news

The maps of the living Swiss traditions

The Federal Office of Culture has created six brochures presenting 167 living traditions of Switzerland in form of a map. The maps are illustrated by the artist Albin Christen.

Switzerland's Intangible Cultural Heritage: List of Living Traditions Updated

The list of living traditions in Switzerland, which has existed since 2012, has been updated for the first time. It has been expanded by 34 entries and now contains 199 important forms of intangible cultural heritage, selected by experts and representatives of the cantons and cities under the direction of the Federal Office of Culture. The extension of the list focuses on living traditions in cities. The list provides an insight into Switzerland's cultural diversity. In spring 2018, the updated list will be published as a web inventory with comprehensive documentation.

Living traditions in urban space

"urban traditions" takes a close look at our city life and asks how we cultivate our need for community and rituals in individualized, digitalized and fast-moving Switzerland. With discussion events and an interactive video station that stops in twelve Swiss cities, "urban traditions" sharpens our perception of lived traditions, also in cities.

Website comprehensively documents the living traditions in Switzerland

The updated "List of Living Traditions in Switzerland" is now available as a web inventory with comprehensive documentation. The web inventory gathers in a generally understandable language valuable information on 199 important forms of immaterial cultural heritage in Switzerland. The texts are supplemented by numerous audio, visual and film documents.

Immaterielles Kulturerbe nachhaltig auf Kurs bringen

Der Nachhaltigkeitskompass regt zur Diskussion über lebendige Traditionen und ihre nachhaltige Bewahrung an. Er unterstützt die Auseinandersetzung über der Bedeutung von lebendigen Traditionen für ihre Trägergruppe, für unsere Gesellschaft und für unsere Zukunft.