Festivals in Morocco
Morocco is celebrated for its diverse and ancient cultural influences and its friendly and welcoming people and is focused upon increasing the economic development of the country while preserving its rich culture, traditions and heritage. Throughout the year, during every season, Morocco celebrates this unique diverse heritage with celebrations and festivals. Many of these festivals held throughout the country honor the cultural diversity of this dazzling and vibrant part of the world. These events are often held in historical outdoor settings during the pleasant Moroccan evenings. The scenery and atmosphere of these events that focus on movies, traditional music or jazz, fantasias, processions and moussems (moussems are large gatherings of people paying homage to a Saint). are extraordinary. The dates of Moroccan festivals are often based on the lunar calendar and it is recommended that you check the exact dates before your travel, as the timeframe of the main festivals and Moussems that we indicate below indicate only month or season and not exact dates.
Festivals and Moussem
Agadir – Folk Music Festival – July
The Folk Music Festival of Agadir features the songs and music of authentic Morocco: Ahwash from mountain villages, Rway’s or itinerant poets-musicians from Souss and the Atlas, Lâabate or singers from Taroudant, Berber-speaking Ganga or Gnaoua from the countryside, nomad musicians, and griots from the south of Morocco all converge in Agadir for this incredible event.
Music, poetry and spirituality magically meld to bring to life the beauty of the impressive cultural heritage of Morocco. The festival includes conferences and films that provide an excellent addition and an informative contribution to this remarkable festival. Concerts and events occur at the “Village of the Festival” with five stages to accommodate all of the many colorful and exciting shows.
Asilah – International women’s Moussem Mars
This women’s moussem provides an opportunity to create new cultural perspectives and to launch bridges between civilizations.
Asilah – Festival of Culture – August
This cultural festival in Asilah, in Northern Morocco attracts a large and impressive gathering of innovators, writers, artists, researchers, and scholars from many countries.
Agade –Festival of Cinema – December
The Agade Festival of Cinema is a renowned meeting place for European moviemakers and intellectuals and their Moroccan counterparts.
Azemmour – Spring Festival – May
This festival highlights the magnificent historical and cultural heritage of the city.
Casablanca – Maroc Classic Rally – March
This world-class car rally gathers the best drivers the world has to offer.
Casablanca – Festival of Casablanca – June
During this festival, Casablanca is the location for a lively and exciting convergence of music, dance and theater.
Chefchaouen – National Festival of Andalusian music – June
The best Andalusian bands of Morocco gather to perform at this wonderful festival.
El Jadida – Moulay Abdellah Moussem – August
The town of Moulay Abdellah is 10 km west of El Jadida. Every year, the town hosts this magnificent Moussem that attracts thousands of people from every area of the country and abroad. It is world famous for its incredible fantasias.
El Kelaa des M’Gouna – Moussem of Roses – mid-May
The Moussem of Roses day at El Kelaa des M’Gouna features bountiful displays of native folklore and crafts, Beautiful flowered floats parade through the village to celebrate the crowning of “Miss Roses” before uniting for a fantastic excursion by camel into the stunning valley of roses.
Erfoud – Moussem of Dates – early October
Erfoud, a charming colonial- city sits on the edge of the Ziz wadi, deep inside the Tafilalet. One million palm trees grow here and local inhabitants celebrate the harvest in early October with the Mousse of dates.
Errachidia – International Festival of desert Music – September
This Art and Culture festival celebrates authentic Morocco, where the indigenous music and the melodious language highlight the vast untouched expanses of the desert and the unique beauty of Errachidia.
Essaouira – Festival of Gnaoua Music – June
The best Gnaouie Music bands and many American and European jazz bands flock to this festival each June in Essaouira . A major festival since the sixties, this Festival is considered to be among the most important festivals of the world.
Essaouira – Festival of Atlantic Andalusias – October – November
The Fado, the Flamenco and Moroccan Andalusian music are featured in a festival that will electrify and deeply move you with its cross-cultural influences.
Essaouira – Kite Surf – November
The Kite Surf wave stage of Essaouira is a required stop for kite surf lovers visiting from every corner of the world.
Fez – Festival of World Sacred Music May – June
Since 1994, artists from across the world come to Fez in the spring to perform at this internationally famous festival that attracts thousands of fans.
Fez – Festival of Amazigh culture -July
This colorful festival pays homage to the role of folk culture in the development of the area.
Fez – Moulay Idriss Moussem – September
Fez pays homage to its Patron Saint. The Moulay Idriss Moussem is one of the most important gatherings in the entire country. The trade associations, represented by their syndics and supported by notables, donate and collect contributions used to cover the expenses of the activities. Crafts, weavers, merchants, tanners, blacksmiths and cobblers all join in the activities of this exciting festival. The contribution of the area weavers, raising of the Mausoleum of the Saint by gold-plated silk ropes is just one example of the many colorful sights of the festival. On the day of the Moussem, the colorful displays of the trade associations are exhibited during a large parade which starts early in the morning and ends at sunset. A stunning and exciting event.
Fez – International Festival of Cooking Arts – October
Moroccan cuisine is celebrated in many venues in the city of Fez during this international festival. The influences of Berbers, Arabo-Andalusians and a wide range of cultures is reflected in the delicious and renowned cuisine of Morocco
Fez – Jazz in Riad – November
Fez is not only celebrated for its status as an intellectual and religious city but is also famous for its jazz festival. This musical events features concerts throughout the city and is an excellent way to discover the history and heritage of multi-cultural Morocco.
Guelmin – Moussem of Guelmim – June
This moussem is renowned for its large gathering of camels and magnificent and colorful festivities, including the famous dance of the “Guédra”.
Imilchil – Moussem of engagement – September
Imilchil is a little village in the High Atlas. Long ago, a Saint used to bless the unions of Agdoul. According to the legend, couples who received such blessings lived a happy life. Consequently, it is a tradition that during this celebration weddings are performed in Imilchil, near the grave of this beloved saint. Nearly 30,000 people from the high plateaus gather here for three days with their herds, their horses and their camels. Dances and parties are constant and colorful. This event has a strictly cultural side where myth, mysticism and artistry unite to form a unique and wonderful celebration.
M’hamid El Ghizlane - International Festival of Nomads – March
Songs, dances and various exhibitions highlight the traditions, artistry and craftsmanship of the nomadic tribes.
Marrakech – International Marathon – January
Broadcasted by TV channels worldwide more than 5,000 marathon runners come here every year to compete in one of the most prestigious marathons in the world,
Marrakech – International Festival of Magic – March
Conjurers and magicians amaze and delight with their skill and artistry..
Marrakech – Festival of Folk Arts of Marrakech – June
This event attracts thousands of spectators to the imperial setting of the magnificent palace of El Badii with its huge carpet covered courtyard, Folk musicians, dancers, singers and artists present brilliant performances based on the rituals of Southern Morocco and Sub-Saharan Africa. . The performances are a mix of ritual dances of the Atlas and of Sahara, such as the “Dekkah” and the “Gudra”, and the ritual dances of the Gnaouas, mystical ceremonies in the tradition of animist cults in Africa.
Marrakech – International Film Festival – September
This international Film Festival was created in 2000, and soon became an exciting platform for exchanges, dialogs and collaboration among film professionals. Chaired by His Royal Highness, the Prince Moulay Rachid, this event has a significant influence on the development of economy and tourism.
Meknès - Festival of Soufi Culture – April
Traditional dance and music- modern, classic, folk, Calhoun, Andalusian and Gharnati are features of this spring festival in Meknès.
Meknès- International festival of Animation movies – May
Animated movies from various continents (Africa, Europe) are screened publicly in Meknès for all fans of this delightful genre.
Meknès – Moulay Idriss Zarhoun Moussem – July
This is the largest celebration of the city that home to the famous mausoleum of Idriss Zathoun. Every year, Meknès pays homage to the “Idrissides” founder of the first Arab dynasty to rule Morocco. Trade associations contribute displays accompanied by traditional songs and music.
Oujda – International Raï Festival – July
Raï, a musical style originating in Algeria is featured during this festival. Moroccan and Algerian artists perform during the summer nights of Oudja.
Rabat – « MawaZine » Festival of World rhythms – May
The vibrant sounds of African and Latin sounds rocking the city of Rabat celebrate the coming of Summer.
Rabat – Jazz Festival at Chellah – June
This festival is a true celebration of music, diverse cultures and the colorful influences of European and Moroccans musicians.
Rabat – Horse Week – July
The capital of the Kingdom welcome distinguished guests during this “week of the horse.
Rabat – Jazz Festival of the Oudayas – October
The art form of jazz continues to evolve in Morocco.This festival that began after the Barcelona Conference of 1995, is a prestigious gathering place where musicians meet to express themselves and promote this constantly expanding musical style. Moroccan jazzmen contribute their special and unique sounding syncopated touch, based upon the ancient traditions of the Maghreb’s
Rabat – Hassan II Golf Trophy – November
This festival marks a 35 years old tradition. From its onset, this competition has featured the best golf players in the world and is a renowned international event.
Salé – Waxes day – March
During Waxes day, the inhabitants of the town of Salé join a procession to the marabout of the city and pay homage to the patron saint of boatmen, Sidi Abdallah Ben Hassoun. The name of the festivities originates from a chandelier decorated with a mosaic of multicolored waxes.
Sefrou – Moussem of Cherries – June
The Moussem of Cherries is a three days long celebration in Sefrou. You will have the opportunity to attend many sporting events, a fantasia, or enjoy the carnival and watch the election of “Miss Little Cherry”.
Tan Tan – The Sidi Mohamed Maa El Aynine Moussem – May/June
The Moussem of Tan Tan is a large gathering of the Blue Men of this Saharan city. The Tuareg, or the Blue Men of the Sahara are an ancient Berber tribe that stretches from southern Morocco, through Mauritania, south and into eastern Mali. . This is a large gathering, both religious and commercial, of all the nearby tribes that attend for the Sidi Mohamed Maa El Aynine Moussem.
Tangiers International Book Fair – April
A modern fair with a focus on the issues of the 21st century and problems specific to current societies facing globalization.
Tangiers “TANJAZZ” Festival – June
Tanjazz is Tangier’s jazz festival, featuring Moroccan and Europeans musicians uniting to create eclectic and lively music.
Tangiers Festival of Mediterranean Nights – July
Discover young international talents and Moroccan artists during the lovely summer nights of Tangiers. . Each year the city organizes this unique event, Mediterranean Nights, and it is an ideal location for discovering young artists and meeting internationally renowned musicians.
Tangiers Tanja Latina Festival – November
Explore Tangiers to the pulsating sounds of Latinos rhythms! Salsa, meringue, samba and mambo are the highlights of this recently started and exciting festival.