Festivals and events

Morocco has a number of regional and local festivals, often focusing around a local saint or harvest time of a particular product, and are fairly recent in origin. The
moussems
 or traditional local festivals have on occasion been banned in local years, the authorities giving as a reason the health risks created by gatherings of large numbers of people in places with only rudimentary sanitary facilities. The decision has been regretted, however, as the 
moussems
 are such an important part of Moroccan rural life. The main Moroccan festivals come in three categories: firstly, the more religious festivals, the timing of which relates to the lunar Islamic year; secondly the annual semi-commercial regional or town festivals with relatively fixed dates; and thirdly, the new generation of arts and film festivals.

February

Festival of the Almond Blossom
, Tafraoute, near Agadir.
Salon du livre
, Casablanca. Morocco's biggest annual bookfair. Prix du Grand Atlas, literary events.

April

Honey Festival
, Immouzer des Ida Outanane.

May

Rose Festival
, El Kelaâ des Mgouna, Dadès Valley.
Moussem de Sid Ahmed Ben Mansour
, Moulay Bousselham, north of Kenitra.
Les Alizés
, Essaouira. Small classical music festival in early May, www.alizesfestival.com
Festival des Musiques Sacrées
, Fès - generally late May running into June. Attracts a strange mixture of the spiritual, the hippy and the wealthy. Accompanied by popular music concerts open to all. See www.fesfestival.com.
Mawazine Festival
, Rabat. The capital comes alive with world music and pop concerts held in various venues. 


June

Cherry Festival
, Sefrou.
Festival of Folk Art and Music
, Marrakech.
Moussem de Moulay Abdeslam ben M'chich
, Larache.
Moussem de Sidi Mohammed Ma El Ainin
, Tan Tan.
Tanjazz
Tangier jazz festival, mixture of free and paying concerts, www.tanjazz.org.
L'Boulevard
, Casablanca. Annual urban music (hip-hop, electro, fusion, rock etc) festival, www.boulevard.ma
Festival Gnaoua
, Essaouira. One of Morocco's most successful music festivals, www.festival-gnaoua.co.ma.

July

Festival of Sea Produce
, Al Hoceïma.
Festival Rawafid des créateurs marocains de l'étranger
, Casablanca. Late July. Focusing on work by Moroccan creative artists abroad. Music and film.

August


Moussem of Moulay Abdallah
, El Jadida.
Festival des Pommes
, Immouzer du Kandar.
Moussem of Moulay Idris Zerhoun
, Moulay Idriss.
Moussem of Setti Fatma
, Setti Fatma, Ourika Valley near Marrakech.
Moussem of Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa
, Tiznit.
Arts Festival
, Asilah. Paintings of the médina.


September

Marriage Festival
, Imilchil in the 
last week of September/first week of October).
Horse Festival
, Tissa near Fès.
Moussem of Moulay Idris al Azhar
, Fès.
Festival international du film méditerranéen
, Tetouan. Long-established but slightly erratic small film festival.


October

Date Festival
, Erfoud.
Festival cinématographique de Marrakech
, Marrakech. Established annual film fest. www.festivalmarrakech.info.





This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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