Eid el Kebir, a national and Muslim holiday in Morocco, is similar to New Year’s Day in Western cultures. The day commemorates Abraham’s Sacrifice and every household sacrifices a sheep and prepares family meal. In Berber villages families celebrate by wearing their best clothes and women adorn themselves with henna decoration. Families open their home to neighbors and children offer almonds and mint tea to guests in celebrations. Children in villages often go from house to house to wish each family “Umbalid”, or Happy New Year.
International Marrakesh Marathon brings more than 10,000 runners from all over the world to participate in a marathon and half-marathon through the magical city. Marrakesh offers an exceptional setting for this athletic race and a beautiful circuit follows the palm-lined boulevards, continues along the Menara Gardens, and on to the ramparts of the legendary medina.
Almond Blossom Festival is a celebration in Tafraoute, the almond capital of Morocco. The almond trees in blossom are a spectacle of color against the ochre walls of the village. There is a market with a festive atmosphere complete with dancers, musicians, and storytellers.
Moussem Beni Mellal is a cotton harvest festival in the Tadla-Azilal region.
Ashura is a day of tithing when people in cities and villages also gather together to play traditional instruments and songs. Streets are filled with music and families gather together to have special meals and offer zakat, tenth of their annual income to the poor. Zam Zam Day, sharing a name with the well in Mecca, soon follows and children are free to spray other children and adults with water.
Eid el Arch celebrates of the coronation of King Mohammed VI.
Amateur Theatre Festival Casablanca premiers plays from independent theatre troupes with a unique repertoire starring Moroccan actors.
Sufi Festival is an 8-day celebration of Sufi spirituality, performance, poetry, and workshops in Fes.
Rose Festival in El Kelaâ des M’Gouna, or the Valley of the Roses, hosts an annual event with rose products, Berber music, singing, dancing, and the election of a Miss Rose.
The Sand Marathon takes place in the Zagora/Merzouga area where sportsmen and women run a 240 km course over a week. More than 500 competitors from over 40 countries take part every year.
Salé, the Rabat Wax Candle Moussem Festival, centers on a procession of wax candle lit lantern and light creations which are carried from Bab el Rih to the Grand Mosque on the eve of Mouloud. The candle holders are followed by a variety of brotherhoods that dance and play music.
Moulay Bousselham is a moussem festival in the seaside village named after the scholar and saint Marabout Moulay Bousselham.
Berkane is a town in northwest Morocco that is known for its agricultural moussem festival that honors the clementine harvest.
Eid el Mouloud is the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday and a huge celebration across Morocco with family feasts and nights of prayer and music.
Ben Aïssa Moussem, honoring Ben Aïssa, Aïssawa Sufi brotherhood founder, is the largest of all moussems in the country and includes amazing displays of fantasia, illusionists, singing, and dancing.
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music invites musicians from around the world to perform and play at this fête that welcomes all music and music-lovers.
Goulimine Camel Festival, or the Moussem of Tan Tan, is an annual camel festival held in addition to the usual weekly camel market in the town of Goulimine. The festival is also an annual meeting of nomadic tribes and a glimpse into the past when the village was a Western Saharan border town.
Gnawa Festival in Essaouira is a famous 4-day extravaganza featuring art exhibitions and Gnawa style, world, and jazz music.
Sefrou Cherry Festival is held over three days in June with music, dance, sporting competitions, a colorful market, a torch-light procession, and the election of a Miss Cherry.
Desert Symphony is a series of classical music concerts held in the deserts of Ouarzazate.
Marrakesh Popular Arts Festival is an annual festival held in July that attracts folk singers, dancers, fortune-tellers, acting troupes, snake charmers, and fire-swallowers from all over Morocco. The main events take place in the ruins of the 16 century Badi Palace and the Djemaa el Fna Square.
Meknes Fantasia is an annual equestrian performance and celebration of traditional Moroccan folklore.
Festival of the Sea Harvest celebrates the Mediterranean and its bounty every year on the beaches of Al Hoceima.
Timitar Music Festival is the leading annual celebration of Amazigh culture and music with visiting guest musicians from around the world.
Dakar Rally is one of the most famous international off-road car races which begins in Europe, crosses the Sahara Desert, and ends in Dakar, Senegal.
Feast of the Throne on July 30th is a national holiday celebrating King Mohammed VI’s ascension to the throne. Parades are held throughout the country with fireworks lighting the night sky in the evening.
International Asilah Arts Festival held in a charming coastal town transformed into village-wide exhibit for talented artists from all over Morocco and abroad.
Moussem Immouzer du Kandar is a harvest festival for apples and pears.
Moussem Immouzer des Ida Outanane is a week-long honey festival.
Eid Al Milad is a national holiday and Youth Day honoring the birthday of King Mohammed VI on August 21st.
Moussem of Moulay Idriss, the patron saint of Fes, is the largest religious moussem and a special time to be in Fes.
Imilchil is a legendary marriage festival that is an homage to love and celebration within the Berber tradition that takes place in the Middle-High Atlas Mountains near Marrakesh.
Marrakesh International Film Festival, a four-day festival renowned for its prestige in cinematographic circles, is where Morocco premiers its independent films and hosts films from around the world.
The Date Festival held in Erfoud every October celebrates the date fruit, a local delicacy. The town organizes a festival with music, folk dancing, date tastings, date products, and a fashion parade culminating in the election of Miss Date.
Ramadan, the Islamic holiday when Muslims fast during the daylight hours for thirty days.
Eid Al Fitr celebrates the end of Ramadan with street festivals and feasting held throughout the country.
Independence Day – A week-long national celebration of King Mohammed’s return to Morocco and his proclamation of independence from colonial France and Spain. Parades, street vendors, music, and feasting are all part of the fun and celebration throughout the country.
Green March Day is a national holiday commemorating a strategic march of 350,000 unarmed Moroccans across the Western Sahara border in protest against Spain’s occupation of the territory. Celebrated on November 6th with parades and festivities across the country.
Fatih Muharram, Muslim New Year, is national public holiday. A day of reflection and prayer to observe the first month in the Islamic calendar.
Olive Harvest Festival in Rafsaï celebrates the harvest with a traditional olive picking ceremony, numerous extravagant feasts called “diffa”, and folklore events held in vast olive groves.
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