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Morocco Festivals, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on February 2, 2014 at 11:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Traveling to Morocco during one of its incredible festivals is a great way to explore Morocco, haven an up close experience with people and better understand Morocco's varied traditions. Visiting a festival in Morocco as part of a private Morocco tour can done year round given Morocco offers a wide range of festivals and mousseums (traditional local celebrations). Many regions in Morocco from the seaside bastion El Jadida, the Portuguese Port and Berber City of Essaouira and the city of Fez all have celebratory festivals and mousseums. The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music which takes place each June is one of Morocco's most popular festivals along with Mawazine of Rabat. Morocco's Festivals have much to offer ranging from elaborate fantasia horse shows to exotic local music and are all held out doors in heart of of old Moroccan cities which make the experience of traveling to Morocco's festivals all the more worthwhile.  

For more information about Morocco's Festivals:

The Tan Tan Moussem: November - December. This is a traditional festival of nomadic tribes Check nearer the time for exact date.

Saffron festival in Taliouine: October - November. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices and is also used for coloring. Talioune is the main centre for saffron production in Morocco.

The International El Jadida Horse Show October.This show held under the patronage of King Mohammed VI celebrates the culture of the horse which is widespread in Morocco with many areas supporting their Fantasias or Tbourida teams at local Mouassems or saint’s days. It is also an important international event for blood stock and horse breeding and dressage .

The Erfoud Date Festival October 15 -31st. This festival celebrates the dates harvest in the Erfoud . Morocco has 100 different varieties of dates with 45 of those in the south of Morocco alone.

Eid al-Adha: October 15th - 31st: A sheep is sacrificed to celebrate Abraham’s preparing to sacrifice his son but being providentially spared on finding a ram caught in the branches of a tree nearby. It is a major family occasion in Morocco where those who can afford it slaughter a sheep which provides meat for days afterwards. On the eve of Eid al-Adha, the same day and the next, public and private companies do not work. The festival takes place two months and 10 days after the end of Ramadan. The celebration is called "Eid-el-Kebir" Azalay Festival of African music in Ouarzazate, November.

The Azalay Festival: Features African music of all styles: rock, jazz, blues, rap and salsa. There are Concerts, exhibitions and conferences.

Ras-el-Am or Muharram: November 5th.This is the first day of the Hejira, the Muslim New Year. The Muslim era began July 16 622 (or 20 September 622, according to some), the year of the Hegira. In November 2013, we are entering the year 1435 of the Hegira. The date of this New Year is based on the lunar calendar.

Anniversary of the Green March: November 6th.This celebrates the peaceful takeover of the Spanish colonial provinces in the Sahara by the Green March of civilians launched by King Hassan II in 1957 to liberate territory Morocco regarded as rightfully belonging to it.

Sultan Marathon des Sables in Ouarzazate: April 4th - 14th.This grueling event in temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade begins in Ouarzazate and runners cross desert sands for 240km. The Marathon provides financial support for local charities.

Ashura in Morocco: November 13th - 14th. Ashura is celebrated on the 10th day after the day of the Muslim year (the 10th day of Muharram), the word for "ten". The festival lasts for two days and you may hear volleys of firecrackers going of in the street. For days before small boys collect money for firecrackers not unlike Guy Fawkes day in England.

Taragalte Sahara Culture Festival -Mhamid El Ghizlane November.This festival celebrates Morocco’s tribal Saharan nomadic heritage particularly around Mhamid, thye gateway to the desert. Cultural and ecological workshops are accompanied by sporting events.

Independence Day in Morocco: November 18th. Morocco’s achieving independence from France in March 1956 and the triumphant return of a forced exile in 1955 of king Mohammed V. There are many official ceremonies held throughout Morocco.

International Khouribga Documentary Film Festival:November 20th - 23rd. The documentary film festival of Khouribga takes place , 120 km south of Casablanca. The festival includes tributes to personalities, exhibitions (paintings, photographs and relics), a conference and training workshops on techniques of staging. Several taken are presented by categories.

Almond Blossom Festival Tafraoute: January 1 to February 28th.The almond trees usually bloom in January and February, and Tafraoute is filled with bright and vivid colors. The dates of the festival can change due to the climate.

Candle Procession in Sale, Rabat: January 13th - February 8th.On the eve of Mouloud, in honor of Sidi Abdellah Ben Hassoun, patron saint of the city and the barcassiers of Salé organize the procession of candles to the Saint’s mausoleum.

Eid al-Mouled in Morocco. June 13th - 14th.This festival commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, founder of Islam, and his baptism seven days later.

Essaouira international Gnawa Festival June 12th -15th.Every year Essaouira, Morocco’s favorite seaside resort with its stunning beaches and ramparts hosts international and Moroccan musicians for what has become a world class music festival which also celebrates the Sufi spirituality of traditional Gnawa .If you want to attend the event book accommodation well in advance.

Fez Sacred Music Festival: June 13th - 21st. This world class festival features different kinds of music from internationally famous artists, including Moroccan Sufi chants, Egyptian madhi odes and Pakistani hawwali amongst many others.

Ramadan June 28th - July 28th: Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the year of the Hegira, and is the month of fasting from dawn to dusk during which the Quran was revealed to the Prophet . The streets come alive at night as families and friends celebrate the breaking of the fast.

Lailat al-Qadr (Feast of the revelation of the Koran) July 24th.This is the Night of Destiny when the angel Gabriel came down to reveal the word of Allah to the Prophet Mohammed. The night of Lailat al Qadr is the holiest night of the year, a night of prayer and devotion.

Eid al-Saghir (Eid ul-Fitr) July 28th - 29th.The end of Ramadan is marked by the festival of breaking the fast and is a joyful family occasion when gifts are exchanged. Eid el Saghir is celebrated annually on the 1st of the month shawal, the month following the month of Ramadan. All shops and offices are closed.

For More Information about Festivals of Morocco Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

The Moroccan Music Scene, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on September 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (0)

On Marrakech’s Jemma el Fna Square amongst  the orange juice stalls and story tellers you will find stalls with  CD’s  testifying to the popularity and importance of Morocco’s contemporary music scene which began with the accession of King Mohammed VI in 1999 when greater liberalization of musical genre  especially for young people  who sought music which reflected  their aspirations was gradually phased in and supported with musical festivals organized with royal support and sponsorship like the  annual Mazawine Music Festival in Rabat, The Gnawa  Festival in Essaouria and the World Sacred Music Festival in Fez.  Moroccan TV and radio channels also play an important role with live performances. Young musicians are encouraged to perform and Morocco which has successfully fused elements of its ancient Berber musical traditions with modern music such as Chaabi, Hiphop and Rai and Rap. This has not been without controversy with orthodox Islamic opinion and 14 young members of a heavy metal band were arrested for making “satanic music”, though they were eventually released. Rap stars who make sensitive political comments are sometimes imprisoned. Members of the Islamic led PJD government have also criticized music festivals for corrupting Moroccan youth but generally Morocco’s spirit of compromise wins through despite the tensions affecting the region. Indeed you can see and hear moveable cassette vendors with their barrows playing religious music with other wares for sale on the main Avenue Mohammed V in Marrakech’s  ville nouvelle, Gueliz. Traditional Berber folk village music called Ahwash, is very much alive and is on display in July each year at the National Festival of Popular Arts at the Badii Palace in Marrakech.  The music performed by professional musicians called Raiss includes comedy and dances in their performances. 

Two famous traditional musical bands are Bachir Attar’s  Master Musicians of Jajouka who originally met with Brian Jones and the Rolling Stones in 1969 and recorded with them. Their music celebrates the pagan rites centered on the figure of Boujeloud who has been likened to Pan. They perform regular concerts  in Morocco and abroad including the United States and Germany playing with international musicians. They recently featured in Anthony Bourdain’s  “Parts Unknown “  program on CNN. The other traditional band is the Daqqa of Marrakech who perform a ritual dance for the religious festival of Ashura.

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Chaabi is a popular music descended from Moroccan folk music. Originally performed in markets, it is now performed during celebrations or meetings. Chaabi songs end with a swift rhythmic section and syncopated clapping. Modern instruments like electric guitars and buzuks are also used as well as lutes and a drum. Andalusian classical music called Al Ala was brought to Morocco following the Reconquista in Spain when Muslims and Jews were forced to leave. It is an urban form of music which is highly popular and performed with large orchestras frequently on TV and radio.  Jewish musicians had a profound influence on Al Ala. Gnawa was  brought to Morocco by Sub-Saharan Africans and later became part of the Moroccan tradition. Much of the modern fusion draws on Gnawa and the annual Essaouira Gnawa Festival is now broadening its musical performances to include a more contemporary repertoire. Classical Malhun  music which translates as “gift” or “inspiration” is Arabic in origin and is derived from  Sufi inspired Arabic Andalusian poetry. Sufi Brotherhoods (tarikas) are widespread in Morocco, and music is an integral part of their spiritual tradition. The purpose is to induce a trance state which inspires mystical ecstasy. Leading  Sufi Brotherhoods include the Derkoua, Hamadasha, Aissoua and the Jilala. Modern music includes Rai which is associated with Algeria in the international music scene, but Morocco has produced its own stars lincluding Cheb Mimoun and Hanino. Other genre include Hiphop, Electronica and Fusion, which draws on Gnawa,  Jazz and heavy metal. Casablanca is a major center for contemporary Moroccan music. Pirating remains a concern for Moroccan musicians as it is difficult to establish copyright for music performances and CD’s, although Morocco has an intellectual property rights law. In Marrakech an English music producer Nick Wilde set up Marrakchi Records a record label, music publishing and artist management  company to support young Moroccan musicians. Marrakchi Records provides a management service for Moroccan musicians and promotes them thus helping to establish them in the fast moving contemporary Moroccan music scene. It covers all genres from Rock, Hiphop, Electronic,   gnawa ,  blues and African music. Artists who have successfully produced albums with Marrakchi Records include Caravane, Blue Medina, DJ Haze, Mwanssa, Chaabi and Nisrine. By Colin Kilkelly

For More Information about a Marrakech Tour and the Marrakech Music Scene Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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The Tissa Horse Festival, Your Morocco Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on August 14, 2013 at 8:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Horse riders perform with guns during the El-Jadida International Horse Show in El-Jadida

During the year, the small town of Tissa,on the edge of the Rif region, in the province of Taounate, is a quiet rural community, tucked away in the hills of the Moroccan countryside, fifty kilometers away from Fez.

From 8-13 October 2013, the town will be transformed, as it is each year, in to one of the premier horse festivals in Morocco. The culture and tradition of horses and horsemanship is deeply rooted and widespread in Morocco. The Fantasia or Tborida are contested by competing teams dressed in colorful traditional gandouras and djellabas, charging the full length a field only pulling up at the last minute whilst firing their djezail flintlocks with a thunderous explosion. The Tborida teams led by a ma’alem, or teacher,form up Into a single line and at the signal begin the charge. In the closing stages they must rotate their djezails with one arm at full gallop before pulling up and firing.

They are assessed by the judges for horsemanship, maintaining their line during the charge and successfully pulling up at the end. The horses are trained to do this, but even so, riding at full gallop with the reins in one hand and the djezail in the other is an impressive feat of horsemanship. Very rarely a horse may run on after the halt. To stand in front of the charge even though it is behind a barrier is to sense something of the fear these riders inspired in the enemy. The firing of the djezails is very loud and the smoke billows in the air,along with the occasional wad from one of the djezails dropping to earth. The French Romantic painte, Eugène Delacroix, immortalized the Moroccan tribal horseman riding into battle following his first visit to North Africa in the 1830’s and the son of the Pasha of Marrakech, Hassan El Glaoui, famous for his paintings of Moroccan riders and horses once remarked that his father who died in 1956, went to war on horseback. The large tent city erected for the festival also provides traditional music and dancing as well as displaying artifacts, ceramics and jewelry and providing food and drink. The festival is an important event for the local economy and has been held in Tissa since medieval times. It coincides with the mouassem of a local saint, Sidi Muhammad ben Lahcen who lived in the 15th century. Like all good horse shows the different breeds of horses are the subject of close attention; pure bred Arabian stallions, Barbary mares and Arab-Berber horses are bought and sold.

To bring the Horse Festival of Tissa to a close, there is a huge parade in the stadium. The international horse show at El Jadida under the patronage of King Mohammed VI has done much to reintroduce the Barb horse , which has great strength and endurance , back into international breeding circles. Tissa has a great reputation as a horse show with a fair, sometimes a circus, a huge bazaar, and finally the official folklore of the region "Hayti". It is visited by 4,000 spectators each year and is a great opportunity to enjoy an important regional event and mix with the locals and Moroccans who have brought their horses from all over the country. Moroccans living abroad in France, Spain and Italy also participate in festivals such as Tissa. Tissa was garrisoned by the French during the protectorate because it was on the way to Fes and has an upper Tissa on the hill with a church and other buildings and lower Tissa lies at the bottom of the hill.

For More Information about the Tissa Horse Festival or a Fes Tour

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.  We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

The 48th Marrakech National Festival of Popular Art July 2013

Posted by Alecia Cohen on July 6, 2013 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Held under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, the National Festival of Popular Arts  is the French acronym in Marrakech is the oldest festival in Morocco. Held annually in Marrakech, Morocco it showcases folk arts of the kingdom through its music, art and local handicrafts. It is famous as a joyful celebration of the ancient traditions of tribal dancing and music and poetry of the Berber tribes. The center piece is the thrilling spectacle of the evening performance in the huge floodlit grounds of the ancient Badii Palace in the Medina of Marrakech.

Tickets are sold at the Theatre Royal on Avenue Mohammed VI for each evening’s performance. As this year’s Festival is being held for the first time in Ramadan, the evening performances which evade the heat of the day are especially welcoming. The brilliantly choreographed performances succeed each other as each team of male and female dancers, drummers and musicians dressed in beautiful tribal costumes, each led by a Maalem or troupe leader, appear from different parts of the stage to give their performances. The language used to introduce the performances is Amazigh, the Berber language, which adds to the thrill of this unique event. If you are in Marrakech, it is a must see annual occasion.

On the first evening prior to the performance the troupes parade in their finery from the edge of the Guéliz, the modern part of town, starting at the fountain close to the Hotel Marrakech on Avenue Mohammed V to the Badii Palace in the medina. It is a spectacle not to be missed. The teams train and compete each year to take part in the festival and the Maalems or troupe leaders , play a significant role as guardians of the traditions of dance and music. The troupes are selected by different regional competitions. This Festival plays a vital role in preserving the berber tribal heritage by keeping these traditions alive.

You can see the 16mm films transferred to video of the Berber tribal dances taken in the Atlas Mountains in 1957 by Daniel Chicault the French explorer. They are on permanent display at La Maison de la Photographie which is close to the Medersa Ben Youssef in the Medina. (46, Rue souk Ahal Fès ,200 m behind Ben Youssef Medersa). You can also visit the Berber Ecomuseum at Ourika which has historic still photos of the Berber tribes along with original carpets and Berber jewelry. The museum is part of the Maison de la Photographie which has been run since 2009 by Patrick Mana’ch and Hamid Mergani. The festival foundation team have also introduced the concept of a festival village incorporating different musical performances, music workshops, exhibitions of handicrafts, regional products, conferences and films devoted to Moroccan heritage. FNAP has recently joined the European Forum of music festivals in the world. Founded in 1991, this network is the largest dedicated to world music. It has festivals in twenty countries and attracts more than three million visitors.

For More Information on the 48th National Festival of Popular Arts in Marrakech 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Sefrou Cherry Festival in June, Tour Morocco Tour Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on June 25, 2013 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

The June 2013 Sefrou Cherry Festival in Morocco, which celebrates the annual harvest, is the 93rd in its history and the first since its inclusion as part of the UNESCO immaterial cultural patrimony. The first Cherry festival held in Sefrou was In 1918. A cherry queen is crowned as a climax to street events and musical concerts. There will be exhibitions by cooperatives in the region to boost the local economy. Sefrou is a small ancient walled city, less than an hour’s drive from Fes in the Fes-Bouelmane region of the Middle Atlas Mountains. It ‘s simple white houses pre-date the 8th Century architecture of Fes. The Oued Aggal , a seasonal river divides the city in half, with small bridges a good 10 meters above the river to allow people but not cars to pass. The city is built on high ground to avoid the raging torrents. Sefrou, south of Fes, was once known as Little Jerusalem due to its high percentage of Jews and its well-developed religious life. Sefrou's mellah makes up half of the old city. The mountainous terrain is ideal for cherry trees, flowering in spring, with abundant cherries in summer. The festival is a very colorful occasion featuring music, dancing a fairground and supporting events. The event reaches it climax with the crowning of the Cherry Queen. Sefrou is perfect for a day trip from Fes, and your riad or travel agent can arrange a trip to the festival which occurs each year in June.

For More Information on the Seffrou Cherry Festival or Seffrou Excursion from Fes

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate
Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

The Guelmim Camel Festival, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on June 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Guelmim, famous for its blue people and as the gateway to the Sahara is in the South west of  Morocco. It is the capital of the Guelmim-Es Semara region which includes Southern Morocco (south of the Souss-Massa-Draa region) and northern Western Sahara. It can be reached easily by road from Agadir.

It’s  a walled town with houses built of red clay and is encircled by date palm groves. It was a  camel caravan trading centre linked to Timbuktu in ancient times and in the 19th century, and it remains a commercial gateway to Mauritania.

Guelmim is home to the biggest camel market in Morocco which is held every Saturday at daybreak. Nomadic camel herders are still common.

 

There are a number of tribes at the event including the Regeibat , Aït-Moussa-Ali, Aitoussa, Azwafits, Aït-Yassin, Aït-Lahcen, Aït-Baamran,Sbouya. The "Blue Men of the Desert"  or  Tuareg are so called because they wear indigo colored robes and a long blue scarf or tagilmust they use to swathe their heads and faces. The indigo is pounded, instead of boiled, into the cloth. There are also, of course, people pretending to be blue men to attract tourists.

As well as the weekly Camel Fair, the people of Guelmim hold an annual Camel Festival  every July. The festival is more of a tourist attraction than an actual market, due mainly to the decline in camel transport and the rise in 4x4s. The festival  offers the opportunity to witness the ancient dance ritual known as the Guedra, which is associated with Guelmim. The dance is performed by a woman to the beat of a drum made from a kitchen pot (guedra) and the chanting and clapping of onlookers. The dance often induces a hypnotic state. There is a festive atmosphere and meshwi, a whole roasted lamb, is cooked.

 When in Guelmim, a good place to visit is Fort Bou Jerif, which is the remains of a Foreign Legion fort. This  is located in miles of undulating hills and sandy shrubbery, halfway between Guelmim and the Atlantic coast.

 It can only be reached by tracks and a tour guide with a 4x4 is essential and should be arranged beforehand. As if from nowhere, the Fort will appear, with lovely looking buildings, including a hotel, a motel, a restaurant, a shop, and a camping site.

A short drive away is Plage Blanche, a large and virgin  sandy beach. An alternate  location to visit is at the former Spanish enclave of Sidi Ifni, it has an excellent beach and art deco buildings. Taghazout which is being developed as a major tourist resort is on the road back to Agadir.

For More Information on Guelmim Camel Festival & Sahara Travel 

Morocco’s Imperial CitiesSeaside Resorts,Sahara Desert,Berber villagesA Taste of MoroccoMagical Kasbahs, Ruins & WaterfallsAbsolute Morocco, The Best of MarrakechFes, and Ouarzazate
Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Morocco Festivals, Music Celebrations and Culture Festivals, Morocco Tours

Posted by Alecia Cohen on January 25, 2013 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Celebration is an important aspect of Moroccan culture. Morocco is an exciting and entertaining country that lays claim to cultural, historical and religious holidays and festivals.  At any given point of the year there is a Moroccan city or Berber community hosting glorious festivities. Moroccan celebrations can last anywhere from a few days up to two weeks. There are hundreds of local festivals and mouassems in Morocco. The dates when Morocco Festivals and moussems are someimes decided by religious authorites consulting the moon so dates oftheseevents are sometimes not announced very far ahead . Here are some of the more well known ones with exact dates in 2013, where available.

January Morocco Festivals

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Marrakech International Marathon 2013 - Marrakech Tensift El Haouz ,Sunday, 27 January 2013 Departing from the Avenue de la Menara behind the Sofitel Hotel, the Marrakech International Marathon covers a distance of 42.195 kms (or 21.097 kms for half-marathon) the route winds its way through some of the city's most picturesque attractions.

February Morocco Festivals The Almond Blossom Festival This beautiful spectacle takes place in Tafraoute where the trees  are in full blossom for only a short time and whose colours greatly admired. The festival includes singing, dancing and other performances by the locals.

March Morocco Festivals International Magic Festival at Marrakech 19-22 March 2013 The annual magic festival is held in Marrakech and has several performances by both international magicians and up and coming local artists. The festival has performances  at the Royal Theatre in Marrakech and there is plenty of magic being performed on the streets  as well.

April Morocco Festivals The Sand Marathon The Sand Marathon is an incredibly gruelling marathon that covers 150 miles and lasts for 11 days. The marathon takes place in Ouarzazate, usually towards the beginning of April. Grand Prix Hassan II This popular motor racing  event attracts some the very best players on the ATP World Tour and takes place at the Complexe Al Amal in Casablanca... more about the Grand Prix Hassan II

May Morocco Festivals

The  Mawazine Festival 24 May - 1 June 2013. This modern festival takes place in the city of Rabat and has several artists performing concerts that range from top international performers to local artists, past performing stars include Elton John and Sting. Also on offer are art exhibitions and plenty of street entertainers to keep the huge crowds entertained. Marrakech Grand Prix . This event has been revived and takes place in Marrakech 13-15 April 2013.

Desert Music Festival The Desert music Festival offers an outstanding selection of music genres that ranges from traditional Moroccan music to music from international musicians from around the world. The event takes place annually in Errachidia.

Festival of  the Roses in the Dades Valley in mid May, a small oasis town called Kelaa-des-Mgouna is home to Morocco's largest rose water distillery plant. The entire town is fragrant and the spectacular harvest in May is celebrated with song and dance.

June Morocco Festivals

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Fes Sacred Music Festival Saturday, 7 - 15  June 2013. The festival offers a wide range of traditional music performed by both Moroccan musicians and those from around the world. Under the theme of "Fes: Reflections of Andalusia, the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music" is one of the premier events presented by the Spirit of Fes Foundation. The stated goal of the Festival is to harness the power of the arts and spirituality to promote human and social development, and the relationships between peoples and varying cultures.

Essaouira Gnawa and World Music Festival ,Essaouira  20-23 June 2013. This music festival based on the traditions of Gnawa music has grown to include musicians from all over the world. This successful annual festival has been around for a decade and venues are dotted all around the picturesque town of Essaouira. The origins Gnawa music  lie in a unique mixture of Berber, African and Arabic songs, religious rites and dance and was originally the music of African slaves.

July Morocco Festivals

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The 48th Marrakech Popular Arts Festival (FNAP) The festival features traditional Berber music, singing  dancing, story tellers and entertainers and takes place in the vibrant and bustling city of Marrakech. A full stage showof different regional tribal  dancing expertly chereographed  led by Maawalems takes place in the floodlit  Badi Palace with other concerts and peformances taking place in other locations in the city.

August Morocco Festivals

Imilchil Marriage Festival August/September This unique event is steeped in tradition and takes place in the village of Imichil close to Marrakech. The event provides local Berbers the opportunity to meet and agree to marry, with everyone wearing traditional dress along with plenty of music and dancing. Exact date for 2013 not yet announced. Festival of Fantasia The Festival of Fantasia or Tbourida involves traditionally dressed berber riders and their mounts charging with flintlocks which  they fire with a thunderous roar at the end of the charge. It takes place in Meknes usually towards the beginning of the month, and offers participants the chance to show off their horses, riding ability and timing.

September Morocco Festivals Imilchil is located high up in the lake plateau of the Middle Atlas Mountains inMorocco. In this quaint village you will find primarily Berber tribal clans who have a strong sense of culture and tradition that has been preserved for decades. The Imilchil Marriage Festival  is the prime attraction of this village and takes place annually in September. Each September, the surrounding tribes, Aït Sokham and AïtBouguemmaz celebrate the Imilchil Marriage Festival, held in Souk Aam and Agdoud N’Oulmghenni. This festival, also known as September Romance, features the Aït Yaazza culture of an annual collective marriage where women search and choose their husband.

October Morocco Festivals 2-3 October El Jadida Horse Show. This is  major  international event including horse jumping,dressage and fantasia. Tissa Horse Festival The Tissa Horse Festival is held near Fes and provides the opportunity for hundreds of riders to compete against each other and show off their beautiful mounts and skills as horsemen. Erfoud Date Festival Late September/ early October. More than a million date palms are grown in the Erfoud region and after harvest, the party really starts. Local tribesmen come together for a 3 day festival dedicated to the sticky and delicious date. Berber tents play host to traditional dancing, food and music. There's also a dromedary race

November Morocco Festivals

Tan Tan Moussem This is a traditional festival gathering, of nomadic tribal members who come together in celebration of their culture and religion. The event takes place towards the end of November or beginning of December in the town of Tan Tan, to the south of Morocco.

Eid Al Adha Festival During this annual festival, the Prophet Abraham is honoured with the sacrifice of a ram, goat or cow.

December Morocco Festivals Casablanca International Art Fair The art fair offers a huge selection of art forms such as sculptures and photography as well as workshops to participate in. The event takes place in the Exchange Office in Casablanca usually at the beginning of the month

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Written by Colin Kilkelly

Dakka Marrakchia Music Festival, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on January 25, 2013 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

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Marrakech has been celebrating the Marrakchia Music  festival since the Saadian dynasty in the 15th and early 16th century.It takes place in February each year and celebrates traditional music passed down by generations in honour of  the seven patron saints or 'Sabaatou Rijal' of Marrakech. The seven saints of Marrakech were: Qadi Ayad, Imam El Jazouli, Imam Souhayli, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, Sidi Abdelaziz Tabbaa, Sidi Abdellah El Gazouani and Abou El Abbas Essebti. To represent these seven saints, musicians from seven districts, the El Moukkaf quarter, Bin Laarassi, Bab D’Bagh, Derb Dabachi, Sabtiyyine, Cashbah and Ben Salah, take part in the festival. During the Dakka Marrakchia Festival ordinary locals, such as shopkeepers, artists and craftsmen, become the heart of the event, filling the air with traditional music choral chants and rhthyms.

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Groups of male musicians perform with percussion instruments and drums accompanied bychoral chants. Instruments include the lakrakash, taarija, naffar and tara.The Asdekaa Nakhil Association (their name means “Friends of the Marrakech Palm Tree") organises the festival each year. The followers of the Saint El Jazouli played an important role during the Saadian dynasty by establishing zaouias to give religious support to their cause the music reflects the fervour of those times as well as the traditions and civic pride of Marrakech.


Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

Written by Colin Kilkelly

Pure Life Experiences, Pure Life Experiences, Luxury Travel Show Marrakech, Your Morocco Tour GuideLuxury Travel Show Marrakech, Your Morocco Tour Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on July 17, 2012 at 10:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Pure Life Experiences, a Luxury Travel Show with an annual event in Marrakech, Morocco is currently serving one of the hottest and high-end travel sectors. Pure Life Experience Morocco will take place in Marrakech in November 2012. The Pure Life Expo that took place in Marrakech during 2012 was a huge success. Pure Life Experience is one of the leading experiential travel shows that offers travel agencies and organizations inspiration and connection opportunities in some of the most exotic places. Pure Experiences is the perfect reason to travel to Morocco for a Marrakech Tour and to take extended Marrakech Tours and Excursions. Considered the 'must-attend' event for anyone specialising in high emotion, low impact travel, Pure Life experiences in Marrakech has become a valuable source of inspiration for extending sales and marketing for Morocco Luxury Tours.

The Pure Life Experience Guest List is very selective as it is handpicked to include high-end Experiential Travel suppliers, Private Travel Designers and the world's most respected high-end consumer media. Pure Life Experience Marrakech is a travel event where like-minded, passionate individuals share the same drive to create authentic and genuine Experiential Travel experiences. Experiential Travel has been defined by PURE as "A journey away from home, involving a truly memorable and powerful experience (active, cultural, natural, social or spiritual) that will enrich a person's life and improve the way they connect with both loved ones and with the world."


Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration
Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel.We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco! Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or + 1 (212) 618882681and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today. 

Fantasia in Marrakech at Chez Ali, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Posted by Alecia Cohen on October 2, 2011 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (1)

Fantasia in Marrakech at Chez Ali is a spectacular way to see Marrakech by night. This Equestrian dinner and Moroccan music show in the Palmerie of Marrakech, Morocco an homage and touristic replication of the traditional Meknes Fantasia. At Chez Ali in Marrakech, a Moroccan dinner is served with a traditional starter of Harira, with a main course of Mechoui and couscous, all under caidal "tents". The dinner is complimented by Berber folklore and a wide range of musical styles from Berber groups, Chabbi musicians, Moroccan Rap and Gnaoua. Attendees will see jugglers. the flying carpet, belly dancing and finally the Fantasia show.

Originating from the region of Meknes Morocco, Fantasia is a war ceremony that consists of opposing groups of horsemen, each representing the best rides of its tribe. The performance is inspired from historical wartime attacks of Berber and desert knights. Today, Fantasia is considered as a cultural art and a form of martial art; it also symbolizes a strong relationship between the man and the horse, as well as an attachment to tradition. Each region in Morocco has one or several fantasia groups, called serba, totaling thousands of horse riders nationwide. Performances are usually during local seasonal, cultural or religious festivals, also called mousseum, which translates to “season” in Arabic. This traditional equestrian performance practiced during cultural festivals in Morocco. Fantasia is not the original name as the actual traditional term used is "Game of gunpowder".

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Fantasia in its pure form consists of a group of horse riders, wearing traditional clothes and charging along a straight path at the same speed so as to form a line, at the end of the ride (about two hundred meters) all riders fire into the sky using old gunpowder guns. The difficulty of the performance is synchronization during the acceleration and especially during firing so that one single shot is heard. The horse is referred to as fantasia horse.

Discover The Best of Morocco - Travel Exploration

Travel Exploration specializes in Morocco Travel. We provide Tours and travel opportunities to Morocco for the independent traveler and tailor-made tours for families and groups with a distinctly unique flavor. From Morocco’s Seven Imperial Cities, to the Magical Sahara Travel Exploration offers a captivating experience that will inspire you. At Travel Exploration we guarantee that you will discover the best of Morocco!Call Travel Exploration at 1 (800) 787-8806 or 1 (917)703-2078 and let’s book a tour to Morocco for you today.

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