Often seen at international costume festivals except the flags of the participating groups of guests, a white flag with a blue globe and the inscription "CIOFF®" is blowing. This flag indicates that the organizer of the global CIOFF® is connected and thus guarantees a certain quality of the participating groups and the festival.
It is responsible for traditional and popular culture, but the outstanding aspect is the folklore and international understanding. The main activities are reflected in the great music and folk dance festivals. The CIOFF® is coordinating over 300 events annually and regulates the exchange of folklore groups with more than 50,000 amateurs. It also participates in numerous programs with UNESCO conferences and exhibitions, and transmits cultural heritage onto children and young people.
On September 29, 2003 the General conference of UNESCO adopted the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Federal Republic of Germany is intending to ratify this convention still in 2012. As soon as this Ratification is in effect, CIOFF® Germany, who is already in contact with the German UNESCO Commission on this field, will play a part in the compilation of the German inventory. On June 06, 2012 the CIOFF® World Organization was accredited as a Non Governmental Organization to provide advisory service to the Committee of the UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Every 4 years the CIOFF® is organizing the world-folkloriada. It is the largest festival of its kind in the world, comparable to the Olympics, and will be held with over 2,500 participants. Each member country is committed to come up with its best and most interesting groups. Folk dance, folk songs, folk music, folk costumes and traditional art will be presented. The Folkloriada is reflecting a large cross-section of each continent.
Every year a "festival calendar" is published all over the world in which you can see when and where the festivals are taking place in the CIOFF®-world. This CIOFF® Festival calendar is compiled by Norbert Mueller, Chairman of the CIOFF® Festivals Commission and Wolfgang Denke Otterbein, Coordinator for the Festivals Calendar. Both are members of CIOFF® Germany. In addition, there is a biannual CIOFF® newsletter (in English, French and spanish) as well as reports on various topics.