The tenth session of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place in Windoek, Namibia, from 30 November to 4 December. On the occasion of this meeting, the candidacy of the Summer Solstice Fire Festival in the Pyrenees, jointly developed by Andorra, Spain and France, was examined. This festival is the fourteenth element of the intangible cultural heritage of France listed in UNESCO, after the Limousin ostentions and the Gwoka of Guadeloupe.


The Summer Solstice Fire Festival takes place in the Pyrenees every year on the same night, when the sun is at its zenith. At nightfall, people from different towns and villages carry torches from the top of the mountains to burn traditional bonfires. For young people, the descent of the mountain means the transition from adolescence to adulthood. These festivities are seen as a time to create social bonds and strengthen feelings of belonging, identity and continuity through celebrations including folk dances and communal meals.


The Minister particularly welcomes the excellent collaboration between the bearers of tradition and the cultural administrations of the three countries concerned. This collaboration made it possible to present a quality dossier, both scientifically and in terms of community participation.


In 2016, France will present the candidacy of the Granville carnival.