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Festivals in Morocco

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Fixed Date Festivals in Morocco

February

Festival of the almond blossom
The Tafraout Valley, where almond-trees reign supremely, is enchanting to the eye at blossom time. Ranging from immaculate to blushing pink, the blooms do not last for a very long time. This brief existence makes them even more attractive, drawing more and more visitors to face this spectacle.


April

Immouzer des Ida Outonane — Honey festival.
Imouzer of Ida Ou Tanane (Agadir Province)/ In the beginning of May (Early May)

Argana is said to be the largest collective beehive in the world and also one of the most curious because of its construction, history and the way it is run. Most of the hives are made of split reed cylinders covered with clay. With the aid of a smoking brazier made out of baked earth, the bees and their queen are made to crawl out of the hive into a basket so that the honey can be classified as a historic monument.

May

Rose Festival
Kelaa of M’Gouna (Ourzazate Province)/Mid-May

In this grandiose setting, the day is marked by numerous events like folk-dancing and singing, handicrafts exhibitions, ‘Diffa’-banquets in tents, flower-decked floats, the election of Miss Rose, camel-rides and a splendid excursion by bus from Ourzazate down the Valley of the Roses.

Traditional Handicrafts Festival, Sponsored by Peace Corps
Zagora is the first main city on the way to the Sahara Desert. Artisans from all over Morocco will be traveling to Zambia to show their products - ranging from wood carvings, traditional silver jewelry, Moroccan Silk handwoven hammocks, embroidery, to pottery decorated with henna. There are many beautiful hotels nestled in the palmary where one can relax by the pool between outings.

June

Cherry Festival
Sefrou (the Fez Province)/June June

A three-days’ festival of entertainment full of numerous sporting competitions, a fantasia, a torch-light procession, fairground and finally the election of Miss Cherry with a parade by her cortege.

Marrakech —Festival of Folk Art and Music
Larache — Moussem de Maulay Abdeslam ben M'chich
Tan Tan — Moussem de Sidi Mohamed Ma El Ainin

July

El Hoceima — Festival of Sea Produce
Camel Festival — Guelmim

August

Asilah — Cultural and Arts Festival
El Jadida — Moussem of Moulay Abdellah
Immouzer du Kandar — Festival des pommes
Moulay Idriss — Moussem of Moulay Idris Zerhoun
Setti Fatma, Ourika Valley near Marrakech — Moussem of Setti Fatma
Tiznit — Moussem of Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa

September

Festival of Fiances
Meknes/Beginning of September

This event offers thousands of horsemen and their mounts a chance to meet and display their skills. This festival has become a huge success.

lmilchil
Marriage Festival (last week of September/first week of October)

Imilchl is a small high Atlas village at an altitude of 8,430 feet. For the young men and girls of the area, it is a tradition to get married on the day of the Moussem in ancient times. A holy man uses to bless the betrothed at Abdgoul and the legend goes that they will remain happy for the rest of their lives. The Finance Festival is staged on the site of the tomb of the old wise man, who is venerated in the High Atlas. It is a time for some 30,000 people from the mountains to assemble in tents for three days with their flocks, horses and camels. It is an occasion for the young girls to wear and show their finery, and their sumptuous silver jewelry and to dance the day and night away under the sun and the stars.

Porcelin Festival
Tissa/Ending of September

This event is dedicated 100% to porcelin dolls, china jewlry, and other porcelin items. There will be demenstrations of how porcelin objects are made, painting porcelin, engraving porcelin, and other porcelin activities.

October

Date Festival
This magnificent festival is held annually in the Erfoud area where nearly a million date-palms grow. There is grown a wide range of types of dates. Take for instance the majestic palm-tree, waving lazily in the warm breeze providing shade and a livelihood. The peasants who cultivate them rely on them for almost everything.

Horse Festival
The picturesque center of Tissa, located a few miles off the main road in the Fez province, is the site of a gigantic competition between the various horse breeds. Every year in October, hundreds of riders assemble wearing their finery to present their mounts. Prize-giving and festivities create a very animated scene.

November

Marche Verte/EI Massira el Khadhra (commemorating a march by Moroccan civilians to retake the Spanish held Saharan territories of Rio de Oro and Saguiet El Hamra) 6 November
Independence Day (commemorating independence and Mohamed V’s return from exile) 18 November

December

Olive Festival
A very pretty festival where one can see the traditional olive-picking ceremony, numerous 'Diffa' feasts and folklore events in a surprisingly vast area of olive groves.

Regional and Local Festivals

Morocco also has a number of regional and local festivals, often focusing around a local saint or harvest time of a particular product, and are fairly recent in origin. The moussems or traditional local festivals are an important part of Moroccan rural life. The main Moroccan festivals come in two categories: firstly, the more religious festivals, the timing of which relates to the lunar Islamic year, and secondly the annual festivals with relatively fixed dates.

The Ahouach
The Ahouach in the valleys of the High Atlas: the women form a circle around men playing tambourines.

The Ahaidous
The Ahaidous of the Middle Atlas: men and women in a circle beat out the rhythm in turn by stamping on the ground.

The Guedra
The Guedra from southern Morocco: a dancer sinks to her knees, totally covered by a black veil. A throbbing rhythm builds as her fingers weave and transfix the audience.

The Tissint de Tata
The Tissint de Tata from south of Agadir: women and men dressed in indigo perform the dance of the dagger.

The Gnaouas
The Gnaouas is of African origin: against an obsessive rhythm, dancers rival each other with acrobatic feats.

The Taskiouine
The Taskiouine from the High Atlas close to Ouarzazate: a dance of warriors, both powerful and virile. Dressed in white tunics, a powder flask on their shoulders, they beat out the rhythm with their feet and clap their hands energetically.

Al Aita
Al Aita authentic rural art from the valleys and the mountains, which accompanies weddings and popular festivities.

Last Updated on Wednesday 10th March 2010

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