Almond Blossom Festival in Tafraoute
Tafraoute is known as a picturesque and quaint destination in Morocco. Locals here are friendly, living simple and uncomplicated lives. The red homes with their white window frames are testament to the conservative nature of the residents. Surrounding the town are vast landscapes that do not really grab visitors’ attention, but in spring this quiet Moroccan town comes alive with blossoming almond trees and the vibrant celebration of the Almond Blossom Festival.
The Almond Blossom Festival was actually originally an agricultural gathering that took place each year. As the almond producing capital of Morocco, the town of Tafraoute would have a small harvest festival and sell almond products. Soon, the festival and beautiful blossoming surroundings of Tafraoute became popular and this spectacular event was moved to the Valle Dei Tempi. It also shifted from being a harvest festival, to a local folklore extravaganza. Children, performing their well rehearsed scenes, always kick off the festival. The exciting festival program is filled to the brim with musical, dance and theatrical performances. International performers and musicians have also begun to join in the fun and excitement of the annual Almond Blossom Festival.
As the event is organised inside the site of old Roman ruins, the stage, lights and blossoming almond trees create a calming, yet lively atmosphere that is complimented by the sight of the ruins being lit up during the evening. Off stage there is more entertainment to look forward to, with musicians and dancers weaving their way through the crowds and storytellers mesmerizing their audiences with tales of bravery, sorrow and courage that have been told for centuries but are still just as compelling. The market bustles with vendors and traders, and hungry festival enthusiasts will find refreshment and fulfilment amongst the sea of voices and tantalising fragrances.
In 2008 Morocco will be celebrating its sixty-second Almond Blossom Festival, attracting tourists and locals from all over the country and world. Once again, the forgotten town of Tafraoute will become the focus of visitors and locals, opening a world of celebration and cultural beauty to everyone. When visiting Morocco, ensure that the Almond Blossom Festival is on the list of attractions and activities.