Garba Dance Included in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List 2024

Garba Dance Included in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage List 2024

Recently, the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) of Humanity welcomed Gujarat's renowned folk dance, "Garba."

This acknowledgment came during the 18th session of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding of ICH held in Botswana.

Garba Dance marks the 15th ICH element from India to grace the esteemed list.

About Garba Folk Dance:

Garba, a symbolic and reverential dance, venerates feminine energy or 'Shakti.'

It holds the distinction of being the lengthiest dance festival globally, spanning nine days during Navaratri.

Primarily associated with the Hindu festival of Navratri, Garba revolves around "Garbha deep," an earthen pot illuminated with a lamp, encircled by women dancing in rhythmic harmony through circular motions and clapping.

The Garba community comprises a diverse array of practitioners, including dancers, musicians, social groups, craftspeople, and religious figures.

Musicians typically incorporate instruments such as the dhol, dholak, cymbals, shehnai, and harmonium.


This vibrant dance unfolds around a perforated earthenware pot illuminated either by an oil lamp or an image representing the revered mother goddess Amba.

Commencing with gentle circular motions, the dance gradually escalates in tempo, transitioning into a spirited whirlwind of movement.

Adorned in vivid attire, the dancers gracefully traverse the space in a counterclockwise motion around the central focal point.


The inscription would promote pride, foster innovation, and spread awareness about the urgency of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage.

It would increase knowledge and appreciation of the many traditions that are associated with Garba.

Inscription would lead to recognition of Garba through- out India and its characteristics, including dialogue and respect for diversity.

Important Facts

Intangible Cultural Heritage

Intangible cultural heritage encompasses the customs, expressions, knowledge, and abilities that communities, groups, and sometimes individuals regard as integral to their cultural legacy. Often referred to as living cultural heritage, it commonly manifests in the following forms:

  • Performing Arts
  • Oral Traditions
  • Social Practices
  • Traditional Craftsmanship
  • Rituals and Festive Events
  • Knowledge and Practices concerning nature and the universe

In July 2022, India secured a position on the Intergovernmental Committee of UNESCO's 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) for the 2022-2026 cycle. This marks India's third term on the committee, having previously served from 2006 to 2010 and from 2014 to 2018.

UNESCO's Convention -

  • Adopted in 2003
  • Came into force in 2006
  • Members - 24
  • Term of members of the committee - 4 years
  • Election - General Assembly of the Convention