Posted by: alcrabat | 5 December 2012

Moroccan Traditions

By Ikram Bellarabi

For each country, traditions, as an important cultural heritage, represent their identity. When we say ‘traditions,’ we mean the ideas, customs, beliefs, acts, values, points of view, morals, common practices, activities, and knowledge which have been followed for generations. Those that have been passed on from father to son or ancestors to posterity.

Morocco, as a fascinating mix of African, Islamic, Arab, Berber, and European influences, has a varied and rich culture. It has unique traditions and customs which attract everyone who visits. Here are some of them:

Moroccan Food Traditions:

Moroccans have five daily meals: breakfast in the morning, followed by a second breakfast in mid-morning, and lunch at midday. After that, they serve a break of tea with bread or some cookies and, finally, dinner at night.

In all Moroccan homes, the bread on the table is necessary. We eat it with all meals. And we have our own special tea with mint and a lot of sugar. It’s served with breakfast and lunch and dinner. Moreover, it’s also served to visitors and guests.

We have the tajine, the delicious meal which is made primarily of vegetables and a bit of meat in the middle. It is served hot in a single dish on the table and eaten with bread.

The most famous dish is ‘cous-cous.’ This one you can find only in Morocco. Like the tajine, it’s eaten by hand and sometimes by spoon. Cous-cous is known more as a dish for special occasions (Ashura, the 26th day of Ramadan, etc.). Besides this, most Moroccan families have it on Fridays, after prayer.

Moroccan people usually eat from a large communal dish in the center of the table and they say ‘bismillah’ (in the name of Allah) before they start and ‘hamdulillah’ (thank God) after they finish.

Moroccan Wedding Traditions:

Typically, Moroccan wedding ceremonies are some of the most expensive in the world, depending on the family and the area, if you are in the city or the country.

The Moroccan wedding is the perfect occasion to bring Moroccan families together. It’s known for the different traditional dresses (kaftans) and gold accessories worn by the bride, the cocktail of delicious dishes, cakes, and cookies, and  the different kinds of drinks.

The most famous Moroccan wedding tradition takes place in Imilchil, where the people from the various tribes in the Atlas mountains meet every year in September for the marriage festival. During the festival, single people can find a husband or wife. Then, they are married during a big ceremony with lots of dancing.

Moroccan Henna Tradition:

Henna is a kind of tatoo that Moroccan wmoen do on their hands and sometimes on their hair. It’s made from a shrub called ‘Henna.’ Some older people believe that it brings good luck and joy and offers protection against illness and the evil eye. It’s present in most Moroccan ceremmonies. The best known tradition is the night before a wedding, when an old woman (Nagafa) makes beautiful Henna tatoos on the bride’s hands and feet.

 

I think our traditions are our past. Without our past, we are nothing. For this reason, everyone must preserve and keep them for our sons and daughters and posterity.

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Responses

  1. The best known tradition is the night before a wedding, when an old woman (hagafa) …..
    It is Nagafa with an ‘N’ in the beginning.
    Please watch out! you are talking about a cultural thing, and it is a must to know what you are describng.

    • Good job Ikram !!!. I liked it very much.

      • and for “Hegafa” younes it’s just a typing error of an Amercian teacher!!

  2. American teacher?
    They usually take fake meaning and present them to other cultures.
    They need to be careful and ask local people about the meanings and spellings.
    Thanks for the correction.


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