Diplomi crop

National Inventory

The National Inventory of Living Heritage comprises 86 elements at present. It is a next step from the Wiki-inventory of Living Heritage.

Elements within the Wiki-inventory can be suggested for the National inventory of Living Heritage. There are a total of 86 elements in the Finnish National inventory of Living Heritage nominated by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The National inventory is based on the proposal by the Finnish Heritage Agency and the Advisory group of intangible cultural heritage. Communities and organizations active in the field of intangible cultural heritage have also been commenting on the submissions. Articles in the National Inventory need to be updated every three years.

The National Inventory will be updated regularly. From the National inventory, submissions can then be made for the elements to be inscribed on the UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage and the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices. The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture decides which elements are to be submitted to UNESCO, based on suggestions from the communities. The first submissions from Finland will be about sauna culture and Kaustinen fiddle playing. Finland is also part of the nomination on Nordic clinkerboat traditions coordinated by Norway.

The National Inventory of Living Heritage covers a wide selection of fields within intangible cultural heritage from nearly all parts of Finland. The National Inventory includes several traditional festivities, such as taking candles to the cemetery on Christmas Eve, the declaration of Christmas Peace in Turku, the conferment of master’s degrees and the lighting of Easter Fires. There is also a wide range of handicrafts in the inventory: glass blowing, the Korsnäs sweater and the making of national costumes. The inventory includes several nature-related elements, such as snow games, mushroom picking, building and sailing on clinker boats and the fishing tradition in the rapids of the Tornionjokilaakso river valley. Performing arts also feature in the inventory: the Kaustinen style of playing the fiddle, Finnish tango, the singing tradition of the Roma people, the minuet and open air dancing. The list also includes food traditions, games and oral traditions.

The selection of an element into the National Inventory of Living Heritage is a recognition to the communities that work with the traditions. The National Inventory also brings more visibility to the elements.

More information


Leena Marsio, Finnish Heritage Agency, leena.marsio(at)museovirasto.fi, tel. +358 (0)295 33 6017