Heritage Treasures Day is marked on January 11 of every year. It’s the perfect day to let everyone know about your unique heritage. It’s also a day to preserve monuments and raise funds for iconic landmarks all over the globe. Conserving wildlife is also part of this day. By raising awareness and educating others about these structures and creatures, we celebrate who we are, where we have come from, and how we are all connected.
History of Heritage Treasures Day
The Heritage Fund is the largest dedicated grant funder of the U.K.’s heritage working to champion the value of heritage for everyone. Anything from the past that is valuable and worthy to pass on to future generations can be considered heritage. Positive things happen when we share, understand, and value our heritage.
Cultural heritage includes physical structures or locations such as historic buildings and archaeological sites. Artifacts maintained and transmitted by generations into society are also considered cultural heritage, like sculptures, paintings, and books. These are called tangible cultures. It’s not just monuments and objects though. Some examples of intangible cultural heritage are living expressions passed down from our ancestors such as performing arts, traditional skills, and oral traditions. Customs, rituals, ceremonies, arts, crafts, music, and politics, as well as ideological beliefs that influence culture and behavior, are all part of it. So are folklore, traditions, and language. These are all important in maintaining cultural diversity.
Natural heritage is the natural characteristics and physiological and geological formations that make up the habitat of endangered species of plants and animals. It also includes natural areas of value to conservation, science, or natural beauty. Since its inception, the Heritage Fund through the National Lottery has donated approximately 9.4 billion dollars to support over 40,000 projects. With multiple funding programs, each provides different amounts for the funding of different projects. Heritage Treasures Day lauds their work and raises awareness regarding the importance of preserving our shared history not just in the U.K., but throughout the world.
Heritage Treasures Day timeline
The original predecessor of the National Lottery Heritage Lottery Fund is established to preserve culturally important property for the U.K. as a memorial for World War II.
This program starts with the goal of re-energizing historic parks and cemeteries.
The organization rebrands as National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Digital Skills for Heritage Fund is launched, which grants support to digital volunteering in the heritage sector.
Heritage Treasures Day FAQs
Where does the money from the U.K. lottery go to?
In March 2021, the funds were divided with health, education, environment, and charitable causes getting 40% while sports and arts tied with 20%.
Is the U.K. National Lottery a charity?
It’s a non-departmental public body in charge of distributing funds raised by the National Lottery for worthwhile causes.
What has the National Lottery funded?
It has and continues to fund various projects in the arts, education, environment, charity, health, sport, heritage, and voluntary sectors.
How to Observe Heritage Treasures Day
Visit a local landmark
Pay homage to a nearby monument. Refresh yourself with its historical significance to your area.
Donate to a heritage organization
Play your part in keeping your heritage alive. Contact your local heritage society and find out how your financial gift can help preserve important parts of your city’s history.
Talk about what heritage means to others
Have a chat with your friends and share what heritage means to each of you. You might be pleasantly surprised to find out a different perspective or discover a place you never knew existed.
5 Community Heritage Funded Projects In London
Mad house: my house
Through a website, training program, and exhibition, it connected learning disabled people with their heritage.
Lady Malcolm’s servants’ balls
Lady Malcolm’s Servants’ Ball, held almost a century ago, was re-enacted by performance artists.
Black heroes foundation’s play
A short play about John Archer, London’s first black mayor elected in 1913, was staged at Battersea Arts Center.
Plymouth sound national marine park
About 11 billion dollars will go to the creation of the ‘Park in the Sea,’ which helps communities as well as examines the effects of climate change.
The Wilderness Project
It was a project that showed mature people’s well-being can be improved by actively engaging with natural heritage.
Why Heritage Treasures Day is Important
It reminds us of our past
Our heritage gives us insights into our past. It reminds us of our responsibility in the present to ensure we leave a future for the coming generations.
It shows us evolution
We can see the evolution of society through our heritage. Learning about change throughout the years is a fascinating journey.
It examines our history
Studying our heritage helps us reflect on our history. It can explain why certain things or people are the way they are in the present.
Heritage Treasures Day dates