Combine your beach holiday to Morocco with a cultural experience you’ll never forget by attending one of the countries festivals!
Morocco hosts a number of exciting festivals throughout each year that celebrate everything from the beautiful roses they grow in KelaatM’Gouna to the deliciously sticky dates grown in Erfoud, and everything in between.
In this article we take a look at five exciting festivals that you can encounter while visiting one of the most vibrant and diverse countries in Africa and what you can look forward to experiencing while you’re there.
The Rose Festival, KelaatM’Gouna
The Rose Festival takes place each year in the last half of May for three days in a small village called KelaatM’Gouna – also affectionately known as the Valley of the Roses, of course – and is located in the Dades Valley.
The village is home to Morocco’s largest rose water distillery plant that produces litres and litres of rose water, which is popular in Morocco’s cooking and perfumery. The festival takes place at the same time as the rose crops of the season and people – both locals and travellers alike – take to the village to celebrate with music, dancing and shopping.
Fes Festival of World Sacred Music, Fes
Another annual festival, the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is a 10-day celebrations held in late May or early June in Fes, and is a spiritual festival where whirling dervishes from Iran, as well as dancers and mystics can be seen from around the world.
Throughout this festival, visitors have the chance to experience artists from Muslim, Christian, Jewish and other faiths perform, giving them insight into traditional life in the city and from around the globe, while indulging in mint tea and Moroccan cuisine, as well as enjoying Sufi chanting.
Marrakech Popular Arts Festival, Marrakech
This spectacular festival includes the likes of folk singers, dancers, fortune-tellers, acting troupes, snake charmers, and much more, coming together from across Morocco, Europe and Asia, as well as Ukraine, Poland, China and Spain, to take part in this grand, annual event. Inside the ruins of the Badi Palace and the Djemma el Fna is where the main event takes place, with the likes of Fantasia (an astonishing horse-riding show) taking place outside the city walls in the evening.
This festival is one of the most popular attractions in Marrakech, enlightening, entertaining and wowing visitors and viewers from across the globe.
Moulay-AbdellahMoussem, El Jadida
One of the biggest festivals that takes places in Morocco, Moulay-Abdallah Moussem is held in El Jadida and is of religious significance as it pays homage to the sacrifices of both historical leaders – who gave their lives for Islam – and to the soldiers – who sacrificed their lives and won freedom for their country.
Thousands of horses and horse riders, falconry hunters, folk troupes, musicians and artists take part in the festival’s events with visitors staying in tents in camps throughout the several days the festival is held.
Erfoud Date Festival, Erfoud
Dedicated to the sticky and delicious fruit, the Erfoud Date Festival takes place over three days in October and is hosted by Berber tents housing dancing, delicious food and music, as well as a dromedary camel race which is an amazing experience and treat for visitors who are watching.
The festival is a mixture of symbolism, sacred rites and entertainment. On the first day of the festival prayers are said in the morning, which are followed by a fashion show of traditional costumes. On the last night, the festival comes to a close with traditional music and spiritual songs.
Visiting Morocco during one of these festivals will allow you to immerse yourself in Morocco’s fascinating an enjoyable celebrations and will overall contribute greatly to your trip.