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National intangible cultural heritage list swells

China now considers 1,219 cultural practices nationwide as "intangible" national treasures after adding 191 candidates to its list, according to a new list published by the State Council.

Folk literature, traditional music, dancing, opera, arts and crafts, folk custom, acrobatic performance, as well as traditional medicine of ethnic groups are on the 191-item list.

The items, selected from 3,136 traditions, went through a vetting process that included recommendations by local cultural departments, assessments by experts and public reviews, said the Ministry of Culture in a statement Friday.

The new list has shown a special focus on intangible cultural practices of the minority ethnic groups, the ministry said.

Several festivals of minority ethnic groups, including the Tibetan New Year Festival made the list.

The State Council published in 2006 the first batch of state-level intangible heritage items on a 518-item list that included the Spring Festival, Peking Opera, acupuncture, the Legend of Madame White Snake and Shaolin Kungfu. The second batch of a 510-item list was unveiled in 2008.

The move aimed to give financial support for their protection and help the public reconsider their traditions.

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