All nations organize traditional festivals every year to celebrate their culture and their musical heritage. Morocco in particular has organised countless traditional festivals that are called “Mawassim” in order to celebrate specific events and social occasions that give evidence of its enormous cultural and musical variety and richness. The best destination to attend these traditional festivals is probably the city of Marrakech, Morocco’s main tourist destination. But there are other cities in the kingdom where some of these fascinating festivals take place.
Traditional festivals in Morocco can be divided in two main categories: the first one includes those festivals which are organised to celebrate some agricultural products. Some of the most interesting of these festivals include the Rose Festival, one of the oldest and most famous festivals in Morocco, which takes place in May in Kalaa Megouna, near Ouarzazate in South Morocco. There are many activities organised during the days of the festival, such as music concerts and exhibitions of some local products, as well as the election of “Miss Rose”.
There is also the Cherry Festival, which takes place in May in the town of Safrou, near Fez. This occasion witnesses countless activities, also including music concerts, the election of Miss Cherry, and the exhibiting of agricultural products.
The second category includes festivals that have an important social dimension, such as the Engagement Festival, which takes place in September in Imilchil, a town located between Errachidia and Beni Mellal, also in the South of Morocco. This festival is related to an old love story, quite reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet’s, about a couple from different tribes that did not accept their marriage. This made them cry, and it is thought that their crying created the two lakes that are located in this village, and that these lakes are full of the couple’s tears. This is why the lakes are called “Issli “and “Tisslit”, which mean “groom” and “bride”. This festival is a big collective marriage that is organised every year by the Ait Hdiddou tribes in order to glorify this couple and to encourage love and reconciliation.
There are many other festivals throughout Morocco, such as the picturesque Camel’s Week in Guelmim or the Apple Festival in Midelt, as well as other festivals that are related to some “Sofi” movements like Tijania, Boutchichia, Kadiria, Cherkaouia, etc. These festivals have a religious dimension and take place in most Moroccan cities, including Marrakech, Meknes, Fes, Rabat, Agadir, etc.
There are many traditional festivals in Morocco throughout the year. They all give visitors a unique opportunity to explore and discover Moroccan traditional life, so full of simplicity, love, generosity and solidarity. The best way to attend several of these festivals is to travel from Marrakech, a very well connected city full of life and tourist attractions.
You can stay in a guest house in Marrakech, where you will get all the information you need to get to these festivals.