A festival of winemakers in Vevey is Switzerland’s first candidate for the United Nations list of “intangible” cultural heritage sites.
The Swiss Federal Office of Culture said Monday it had submitted the wine-makers' festival at the small town on Lake Geneva, known locally as the Fête des Vignerons, to the Intangible Cultural Heritage list maintained by UNESCO, the Paris-based United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
A decision is expected by the end of 2016.
The festival has been around since the late 18th century and is held every 20 years, drawing thousands of visitors, with the next one planned for the summer of 2019.
Nearby are the spectacular Lavaux vine terraces that form the largest contiguous vineyard region in Switzerland and have been protected by UNESCO since 2007.
Switzerland is home to 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites including the Lavaux vineyards, St. Gallen Abbey and Bern Old Town. Globally, there are more than 1,000 such sites in 161 countries.
Every country can submit one nomination for the list in March. Other sites that the cabinet has approved for the “intangible” list include watchmakers, yodelers and avalanche experts.