The art of Azerbaijani Ashiqs (troubadours) and Novruz bayram (Spring holiday) have been inscribed in 2009 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage which took place in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) from 28 September to 2 October 2009.
One hundred and eleven nominations for the Representative List have been examined from 11 to 15 May 2009 by a subsidiary body of the Committee.
The idea to submit the abovementioned traditions for the UNESCO Intangible Heritage List belongs to the First Lady of Azerbaijan, MP, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador, President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva.
In 2003 the Azerbaijani Art of Mugham was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity thanks to Mehriban Aliyeva’s support.
The art of Azerbaijani Ashiqs combines poetry, storytelling, dance and vocal and instrumental music into a traditional performance art that stands as a symbol of Azerbaijani culture.
Novruz marks the New Year and the beginning of spring across a vast geographical area covering, inter alia, Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.