We're approaching the start of the holiday season here in the U.S., which might have had you thinking about whether there are holidays and festivals as significant for Moroccans. Because Morocco is predominantly a Muslim country, Thanksgiving and Christmas are not as dominant as they are in the states.
Moroccans do enjoy festive times of the year as much as anyone. For a group of people that loves to socialize and to cook for friends and loved ones alike, festivities are not rare.
The most important religious festival in Morocco is Ramadan where Moroccans fast for 30 days (during the daylight hours only), so they have their meals after the sun sets. Pregnant women or those who are ill are not expected to participate, but they are supposed to make up for the days they eat while the sun is up at another time. Even when they do eat, most Moroccans will show self-discipline by eating only wholesome and healthy food.
At the end of Ramadan, there is a celebration called Aïd el Fitr that lasts for three whole days during which Moroccans make up for those 30 days of fasting with a huge celebration that involves feasting on delicious Moroccan dishes and sweets. Interestingly, there is no hard and fast date for the start of Ramadan in Morocco. It usually falls between the 1st and the 29th of September. That is because the observance follows the lunar calendar, and won't start until the crescent moon is visible in the sky.
Ramadan is the holiest holiday in Morocco and is similar to the Christmas in that Moroccans will often prepare foods and give gifts to family and friends.
There are dozens of festivals in Morocco celebrating cultural music and film, as well as annual events such as the end of the winter rains (Tafraoute) or the harvest season (El Kelia des Mgouna). Moroccans also celebrate the coronation of King Mohammed VI (Aid el Arch) each spring. Most of the festivals are fun and, well -- festive!
The holidays and events celebrated by Moroccans, who are a people that look forward to and enjoy their holidays as much as we in America enjoy and celebrate our important cultural and religious holidays!
We look forward to welcoming you over the holiday season. Contact us to make a dinner reservation or join us for a cocktail.