Intangible Holiday Moments

It’s easy to take snaps of the sights you’ve seen on holiday, and you can show them to your envious friends or reminisce with your fellow holidaymakers when you get them out. But often it seems like something is missing, you’re not remembering the whole aura, or something, of the trip. The feel of the place, the details that made it special. I’ve often put this down to the fact that the rain is pouring down outside and the nights are drawing in, but sometimes it’s just those once-in-a-lifetime things that really make the holiday.

In addition to compiling lists of all the world heritage sights big and small across the globe, UNESCO have also identified 28 of the more intangible things, specific cultural events or local skills that makes a place extra special. We think seeking out some of these experiences would be a great way to choose your next holiday destination so have picked out some of the most intriguing ones. If you want to see the whole list for yourself then check it out here.

La Tumba Francesca

Blue Dancer (Yemaya)_Cuba 060

by hoyasmeg

Visitors to Cuba tend to enjoy the delights of city life in Havana or head for the idyllic beaches of the coast. However, a little extra planning can put you in Oriente, home to the traditional Tumba dancing. A fusion of French and African music with Haitian beats, the performers dress in colourful and flamboyant clothes. You can find Tumba performances across Cuba and as far away as Haiti so keep your eyes peeled for a chance to see this memorable dance.

Barranquilla’s Carnival

The Battle of Colors

by generationbass

With the slogan “Who lives it, is who enjoys it” you are wholeheartedly invited to throw yourself into the carnival in this Colombian city. It’s one of the world’s largest and it’s so important to the locals that the city practically shuts for four days as the streets fill with people. Music and dance are staples to the party which begins with the Battle of the Flowers on Ash Wednesday and ends with the burial and mourning of Joselito Carvajal the Tuesday after.


Azerbaijan national dances - Keçiməməsi

by Sefercik

This Azerbaijani music form combines song and poetry and is an improvisational art, with the melodies tailored to the event and the feedback from the crowd. Folklore and tunes handed down over the generations form a big part of the culture and it’s been deemed so significant that a recording was sent into space on the Voyager spacecraft as an example of world music. Azerbaijan may not be on the top of many people’s wish lists but this is certainly intriguing enough to make us want to stop by!

Ningyo Johruri Bunraku Puppet Theatre

Noh_Theatre (46)

by Fusion Youth Theatre

An ancient Japanese art that involves visible puppeteers telling a story with puppets whilst the narration and accompanying music and singing is provided from off stage. Once upon a time these were hugely long performances which could last all day, telling epic tales through the medium of the exquisite and elaborate puppets. Today the tales are a little shorter but the puppets are still as magnificent, complete with facial expressions, and the skill of the puppeteers makes for a very realistic performance.

Vanuatu Sand Drawings

Vanuatu sand drawing

by PhillipC

The locals here, who speak more than 80 different dialects, have evolved a complex drawing system, noted for its layers of meaning as well as its artistic beauty. Comprised of a singular line drawn with one finger and often forming geometrical patterns, examples of these drawings have been used for telling stories, to impart knowledge, to record events or as memory aids. The history behind these drawings is celebrated in a yearly festival, as if the stunning beaches were not enough to tempt us to visit!

top photo by aa7ae