3 most popular festivals in Morocco
Morocco has many traditions and customs inherited from its grandfathers. It’s a country of meeting and mixing civilizations, resultingthe richest national culture that gave Morocco a distinctive property, fascinated by millions of visitors. In order to preserve this unique cultural heritage, the Kingdom organizes many festivals in various fields, artistic seasons, official holidays and many more, which makes it very important for visiting the country and enjoying such wonderful events.
We remind you of them, according to the country’s sources these arethe best eventsorganized there:
Mawazine: The rhythms of the world (May-June)
Since the launch of the festival in 2002, after its founding in 2001, Mawazine has sought to satisfy different musical tastes of the audience by hosting renowned Moroccan, international and Arab artists. In this way, it reflects the image of Rabat, the Moroccan capital, as it isthe city of “diversity, tolerance, and sharing”. Multiple platforms and free access to art shows also ensure that the festival is affordable to those who do not have enough money.
The festival is held annually in Rabat, capital of Morocco, between May and June, and of course under the patronage of King Mohammed VI.
The festival is considered the second largest festival in the world, in the field of music and art, and the largest in the field of the Arab and African level.
Yes, you will have the opportunity to see the world’s largest performers each year at exceptional parties, and a truly exhilarating atmosphere. It is a real and excellent opportunity to see a wide range of international names and to recognize emerging talent exclusively and uniquely.
As the president of the festival Mounir el Majidi said,it’s a symbol of Morocco’sreal values, openness, sharing, and diversity where all cultures are respected. Mawazine also encourages young people saying thatthe Kingdom’s cultural wealth is waiting for them, and everyone can get a benefit from it. Thus, they can be proud of the priceless national heritage of the country and its tolerant principles, which form the basis of their past, present and future.
According to mtviggy.com, the Mawazine Festival is the biggest music festival in the world. The festival had about 2.6 million spectators, 130 shows on television and 40 million viewers.
In 2016, more than 2.8 million viewers watched the concert exclusively. Surprisingly, a record number of hits were recorded in international channels, with more than 500 million international hits.
The festival provides 3,000 job opportunities and 22% growth in tourism revenues in Rabat.
The festival is being developed annually in all respects. For example, since 2012 it has become the only festival in the Kingdom of Morocco that does not receive any public contribution or support. The variable income now accounts for 68% of the festival’s total budget.
If you have the opportunity, do not miss such an event in the coming days, where you will see many stars such as Shakira, Pitbull, Enrique Iglesias, Jennifer Lopez, and many more with the lively atmosphere and constant performances, do not think for a moment, and come to attend the ceremony, we are waiting for you.
The Sensual Sefrou Cherry Festival (June)
Morocco is the leading producer of this beautiful red fruit, rich in nutritional benefits. It produces about seven thousand and four tons of cherries every year. Therefore, the festival was organized at the end of the harvest season.
The festival is considered one of the most popular cultural and tourist festivals celebrated in the city of Sefrou, which is characterized by the beauty of its amazing nature. The people call it “the city of love of kings”, and the Jews call it “the small Jerusalem”, while the French call it “the Garden of the West.” UNESCO has designated this festival as one of the intangible cultural heritage festivals of humanity.
The festival is the oldest and most famous Moroccan festival, and dates back to 1919, during the period of French rule in Morocco. The first was invited by French ruler Pierre Sougan, who importedit from a French festival in the town of Olivier in the French province of Toulouse.
The festival begins at the end of June of each year, the end of the cherry harvest season.
During this festival, the city of Sefrou is dressed in its most beautiful style, its streets are decorated with roses, and the processions of the streets of Sefrou are reviewed, in the light of the torches and the tones of songs, folk music, and amazing songs, but the most characteristic thing of this festival is the election of Miss Cherry. The beauty of the girl is linked to her paper and her dress. Nine beautiful girls, dressed in traditional Moroccan dress, choose the queen and her two women. They are accompanied by the queen and her two dignitaries, who walk in the city streets, greet the audience and distribute the cherries and flowers to them. The festival is an occasion for many Moroccans to attend and participate in. It is also attended by many tourists from around the world. It also organizes artistic evenings in which local artists and art groups participate, as well as sports performances such as entertainment and cultural events for adults and children, exhibitions, handcrafts, which allpresent the ancient Moroccan heritage.
Other exciting events are available for everyone, another fun festival that gives a unique experience, so you do not have to think, go and bring fun to yourself.
Candles Convoy of Sale
It is not foolhardy to hire tough men, carrying huge candles of various shapes and sizes, roving through the city’s most important streets, dancing in circles, in front of crowds lined with thousands on the road. How not to carry waxy structures of up to 50 kilograms?
Place: Sala (near Rabat), time: 11th of the month of Rabie I, of the Hijri year, the start of the big market, near the candle maker’s house, wherethe huge candles, the atmosphere of music and singing, drums and prophetic praise are. It is the “candle season”.
For the love of the Holy Prophet, a special place in the hearts of Moroccans, celebrating the birth of prophet Muhammad in all regions of the Kingdom, which disrupts schools and departments for two days.During that period, the country allowsfree time for citizens to celebrate, but the city of Saléhas aunique and different celebration, attracted by different folklore teams across the country, wax makers and holders that understand the popularity of the carnival without question.
In bright colors dominated by white, red, green and yellow, hundreds of candles are stacked in an exquisite geometric shape resembling a bee hive, made on wooden structures and shaped like domes or silos inspired by Andalusian and Islamic architecture.
The wooden structures are covered with white paper, before they are decorated and adorned with candles that are quite different from the candles of lighting or adornment, interspersed with phrases such as “God”, “blessing of Muhammad” and “trust in God”.
The candles are kept for 11 months inside the sensory corner. A month before the anniversary of the birth of the Prophet, they are transferred to the home of a candle maker, to be embroidered again.
The necks of young people are grazed when the silos of the candles loom, signaling the beginning of the carnival. The women are fascinated by the Moroccan folkloric and mystical groups, with their different tunes, songs, musical instruments and traditional clothes. A Moroccan cultural mosaic is displayed duringthis eventinSalé for one purpose, to celebrate God.
This ceremonial ritual, which has become a feature of the city, was not born in the last few years, but long time ago, when the first celebration was held in a few Moroccan cities in 986 year of the Hegira.
The procession has reached the shrine, but the end of the procession of candles does not mean the end of the season and the end of the night-time celebration through a traditional ceremony called “The Dance of the Candle”, performed on Andalusian music. It is followed by liturgical rituals by singing The prophetic praises, and the festivities continue as such for a whole week.
Yes, it is a religious festival, but the atmosphere is not limited to Muslims only. It is not only for Moroccans. It is a day of joy, happiness and a festive atmosphere for everyone who is present in the country, so give yourself a short break from the worries of life and enjoy this wonderful atmosphere.
Don’t think much and go check out the festivals Morocco has to offer. But before you go, make sure to check out the German website from Backpackertrail, where you can find more information of what to expect when traveling to this country.
List of other major festivals
- January – Independence Manifesto Day, New Year’s Day
- February – Rabat International Film Festival Author
- March – Ain Asserdoun Fine Art Festival
- April – International Festival of Child Theatre in Taza
- May – Labour Day, Oasis Cultures Festival
- June – Forum Andalusia
- July – Throne Day
- August – Oued Ed-Dahab Day, Revolution Day, Youth Day
- September – National Festival of Novel Art
- October – Festival of Awash
- November – Green March, Independence Day
- December – Christmas