Annual Events in Morocco
Annual Events in Morocco
Moroccan festivals follow the Islamic calendar, which is lunar and alters slightly every year. Dates given are therefore a guide only.
The Moroccan Tourist Office suggests that you ask tourist offices locally when you travel.
The national tourism body, ONMT, (Office National Marrocain du Tourisme) has offices in the main cities (usually referred to as Delegation Regionale du Tourisme) website.
Almond Blossom Festival
Tafraoute, after the red expanses of desert, the small town of Tafraoute makes for refreshing viewing in the early spring.
Officially the almond capital of Morocco, the area is as famous for its produce as for the spectacle provided by the almond trees in blossom amid the ochre red walls of the village.Cotton Harvest, Beni Mellal, celebrated in Beni Mellal in March.
(Moussem of Sidi Abdallah ibn Hassoun), Sal, held the day before Mouloud (Islamic festival period celebrating the birth of the Prophet), the former pirate town of Sale celebrates with an afternoon street parade of wax sculptures.
Moussem (Festival) of Ben Aissa (Sheikh El Damel)
Meknes Koubba of Sidi Ben Aissa, one of Moroccos largest moussems.
Moussem of Moulay Abdelkader
Zagora, brings the town of Zagora to life dring the period of Mouloud.
May – June
Rose Festival, It traditionally takes place in the second week-end of May. The streets of Kelaa des Mgouna are filled with music groups, sabre, dancers, ahaouache singers, gnawas, who all follow the floats procession, headed by Malika t’Al Ouarda, the Queen of the Roses, local equivalent of the Queen of the Carnival in Nizza.It is better to arrive a few days in advance, to enjoy the gardens of roses in the valley. The very day of the moussem, all roses are cut, and the flower collars that you get proposed for a few dirhams do not replace the flourishing beauty of the blossomed rose-bushes.
The exact time of the festival depends on the harvest, and is known with certainty only two or three weeks before the event. If you want to be sure to attend the moussem, plan your trip with a large security margin, and check the date at the last minute.
Mousseum of Sidi Mohammed Ma al-Ainin
Tan Tan (around May) an occasion to see the blue people (Tuareg nomads of the Sahara) and the commercial gathering of tribespeople.
Cherry Festival (Fetes des Cerises), Sefrou, is a celebration of the cherry harvest. It takes place in Sefrou, an ancient walled town, one of the oldest in the area, pre-dating even Fezs 8th-century structures.
Sefrou lies on the rising slopes of the Middle Atlas, the ideal ground for the thousands of cherry trees for which the town is recognised.
The annual Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival is a celebration of the mysterious music of the Gnaouas and takes place in the beautiful town of Essaouira..
National Folklore Festival of Marrakesh
The bustling city of Marrakesh hosts this 10-day (essentially) tourist event with dancers, musicians and other entertainers from around the country.
International Festival of Rabat
Rabat hosts cultural events with emphasis on African music.
Moussem of Moulay Abdeslam ben Mchich Alama
held at Beni Arous near Larache Moussem of Sidi Bousselham, celebrated in Moulay Bousselham near Larache. Moussem of Sidi Ifni, a 2 week festival event in June.
Fez, artists from around the world flock to Moroccos spiritual capital during the annual Fez Sacred Music Festival. Held at the end of June and/or the beginning of July, over 9 days.
The event features a range of music from local Sufi chants to gypsy songs from Spain.
Fez provides a romantic setting for this selection of devotional music.
Concerts can be attended at the Dar Batha Museum, Grand Mechouar and Volubillis.
Goulimine, Tan Tan Road, an annual Camel Festival held in July/August, in addition to a weekly Camel Fair (every Saturday). The event is more of a tourist attraction than an actual market.
The festival also offers the opportunity to witness the ancient dance ritual known as the Guedra, which is associated with Goulimine. The dance is performed by a woman to the beat of a drum made of a kitchen pot (guedra) along with the chanting and clapping of onlookers.
uedra, which is associated with Goulimine. The dance is performed by a woman to the beat of a drum made of a kitchen pot (guedra) along with the chanting and clapping of onlookers.
Honey Festival (Fete du Miel)
At Immouzzer des Ida Outanane, 60 km from Agadir.
International Arts Festival
Held in Asilah Traditional Music Festival, Saidia, performances throughout the month of August, at Saidia, on the Mediterranean coast.
Moussem of Moulay Idriss, Zerhoun, near Meknes.
Moussem of Setti Farma, Ourka Valley, south of Marrakesh.
Moussem of Sidi Ahmed, Tiznit, a celebration of prayer takes place towards the end of the month.
Moussem of Sidi Daoud, Ouarzazate.
Imilchil Marriage Festival
Marrakesh, a tribal marriage festival, (based on a Moroccan legend), in which up to 40 couples tie the knot on one day in Imilchil in the Middle-High Atlas Mountains.
Thousands of people gather for 3 days and women choose prospective husbands.
The festival also allows surrounding Berber tribes to get together and dance, give musical performances and enjoy shopping, as a massive market springs up in the town, selling everything from razors and batteries to exquisite tribal kilims (carpets).
Moussem of Sidi Allal al-Hadh
Held in Chefchaouen Moussem of Sidi Yahia, held at Sidi Yahia Oasis, near Oujda. This is one of the larger festival celebrations of its type in Morocco.
Moussem of Sidi Moussa El-Kelaa du Straghna, north of Marrakesh.
Moussem of Moulay Idriss II, Fes, this festival sometimes takes place in October.
Date Festival (Fetes des Dattes)
Erfoud, sugary dates play an important role in the highly superstitious Moroccan culture and the annual Date Festival in Erfoud demonstrates how highly they are regarded.
Horse Festival (Fete du Cheval), Tissa, northeast of Fes, in early October.
Independence Day, one of five national secular holidays, is celebrated on 18 November.