According to the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (the Convention), each State Party has to identify and define the various elements of ICH present in its territory, with the participation of communities, groups and relevant non-governmental organisations, to draw up ICH inventories as the basis for the safeguarding of ICH.

After the Convention came into effect in 2006, the Government planned to conduct a territory-wide survey on ICH in Hong Kong to collect research data for drawing up the first ICH inventory of Hong Kong. In 2008, the Government set up the Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee (ICHAC) to steer the implementation of the territory-wide survey on Hong Kong's ICH. In August 2009, the Government commissioned the South China Research Center (SCRC) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to conduct a territory-wide survey of ICH in Hong Kong. After more than three years of studies, the survey was completed in mid-2013.

SCRC conducted extensive research and field work on nearly 800 survey cases. Taking into account the survey findings and after thorough discussion, the ICHAC recommended a draft inventory of 477 major items and sub-items.

To gauge public views on the draft inventory, the Government launched a four-month public consultation from 10 July to 9 November 2013. During that period, apart from the views of the 18 District Councils and Heung Yee Kuk, the Government also received a number of written submissions from individual members of the public and organisations. After considering all views received, the ICHAC finally recommended the first ICH inventory of Hong Kong, increasing the number of items from 477 to 480. This was accepted by the Government and promulgated in June 2014.

The distribution of the 480 items included in The First Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong under the five domains of the Convention is set out below:

Domain

 Major Items 

 Sub-Items 

 Sub-total* 

Oral traditions and expressions

10

14

21

Performing arts

21

18

34

Social practices, rituals and festive events

74

248

292

Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe               

4

3

6

Traditional craftsmanship

101

36

127

Total

210

319

480

( * The sub-total and total figures are the numbers excluding the double-counted major items which carry sub-items.)

Based on the findings of the territory-wide survey and the first ICH inventory, the Government will consult the Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee to devise and enhance safeguarding measures as well as to update the inventory regularly.

If you would like to report any events and items which you consider are of significant value, please fill in the Reporting Form for Possible Inscription onto the Intangible Cultural Heritage Inventory of Hong Kong and send it back to us by e-mail, mail or in person.