Mushrooming declared national value of Latvia

Four values have been included in the National Intangible Cultural Heritage list in 2023, including mushroom-picking, the Latvian National Culture Center said on November 15.

The intangible values are the cultural spaces of Bārta and Piebalga, celu belt weaving in northern Latgale, and mushroom picking and usage.

The inhabitants of the Piebalga cultural space (piebaldzēni) "are important carriers of Latvian national identity in their distinct ways, intertwining ancient skills, the specifics of the living space, and the unwavering need for education and knowledge". Meanwhile, the Bārta cultural space, together with neighboring Nīca and Rucava spaces, have a "vital cultural-historic place in Latvia where ancient traditions are preserved, kept alive, and revitalized".

Celu belt weaving tradition has also been included in the list. The technique, which uses wooden, bone, metal or cardboard squares with holes in the corners, has been used throughout Latvia, but most in northern Latgale.

Finally, a joy for all fungus-fans, mushrooming in general has also been named an intangible cultural value. "Mushroom picking and use is a tradition on a national scale, practiced throughout the territory of Latvia and linked both to knowledge about nature, culinary and other skills," says the center.

These four values have been selected from eleven submissions in total. A ceremony will be held at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Music Academy on Novemebr 25. The next submissions will be open in January 2024.


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