Egypt enlists Journey of the Holy Family festivals on UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

Amira Noshokaty , Wednesday 30 Nov 2022

“Festivities and celebrations affiliated with the Journey of the Holy Family in Egypt are now on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” professor Nahla Imam, heritage consultant at the Egyptian Ministry of Culture and country representative of Egypt at the 2003 Convention of Safeguarding the Intangible Heritage of UNESCO, told Ahram Online on Wednesday

St Pishoy Monastery (top) The Syrian Monastery

Imam credited the move to the efforts of the Egyptian ministries of culture and foreign affairs, adding that Egypt’s efforts were almost unanimously supported by UNESCO's Inter-Governmental Committee.

This is the seventh intangible cultural heritage element that Egypt enlists in UNESCO. Prior to the Journey of the Holy Family, the Egyptian manual-textile industry in Upper Egypt was put on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage Sites in Need of Urgent Preservation.

Egypt first enlisted El-Sirah El-Helalya (The Epic of Beni Helal) in 2008, Tahteeb (Stick Art) in 2016, the Aragouz Puppet in 2018, and the knowledge and traditions affiliated with palm trees in 2019.

According to the accounts of historians, the Holy Family spent around four years in Egypt.

Their trip started in the Sinai at Al-Farma, on the border with Gaza, where they arrived after fleeing Jerusalem. Their trip ended in Durnaka, Assiut, venue of the famous Monastery where the feast of Virgin Mary is celebrated in August each year. ​

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