Religious ceremonies in Morocco – Part 2
This is Part 2 of 2 of “Religious Ceremonies in Morocco”. Click here to read Part 1.
The third religious event is the end of Ramadan: Eid El Fitr. This ceremony, as its name indicates, celebrates the breaking of the fast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In Morocco, Eid El Fitr is celebrated by getting up early in the morning. Men go to the mosque for the prayers of that day. As for women, they prepare the special breakfast for Eid El Fitr which is constituted of typical Moroccan pancakes such as Baghrir and Melwi. After the prayers, the family gathers around the table to indulge in a copious breakfast. It is also a time when families visit each other and chat around cookies and mint tea. Children are dressed in new clothes and adults in traditional outfits.
The holiday of Eid El Fitr lasts only one day. And, most shops and restaurants are closed. So, if you are in Morocco during this day, be prepared to do your shopping the night before or expect to do them the next day.
The fourth religious holiday is the second biggest religious event in Morocco after Ramadan: Eid Kebir, which means literally the big ceremony. The main characteristic of this ceremony is the slaughtering of a sheep. It commemorates the historical and sacred event of the prophet Ibrahim who was going to kill his son Ismael as commanded by God in his dream. He never sacrificed his son as God rewarded him with a sheep.
During Eid Kebir, Moroccan families wake up earlier than usual to prepare for the slaughtering of the sheep that they would have bought a few days before. After the prayers and the special breakfast that are similar to Eid El Fitr’s, the father of the family slaughters the sheep. If the father cannot do it, a professional butcher is called to the house to do it. It is easy to find a butcher that morning as they are walking around offering their service. Children are again dressed in their nicest clothes and adults in traditional dress. Also, visits among families are very common. Usually, two days are consecrated to celebrate Eid Kebir. On the morning of the slaughter, all shops and restaurants are closed.
The fifth religious holiday celebrates the birth of the Prophet Mohammed and is called Eid El Mouloud, the birthday. It is celebrated in Morocco by a very special breakfast in the morning. Furthermore, radio as well as TV broadcast religious songs or movies with relation to this day. Moroccan families visit each other like on other special occasions. As for lunch, the tradition is to have Couscous with a particular part of the sheep along with raisins and onion. Also, Moroccans celebrate Eid El Mouloud with prayers and a special night of songs praising and glorifying the prophet. Two days are reserved for the holiday of Eid El Mouloud.
During your visit in Morocco, use your common sense. You are not expected to fast during Ramadan or offer gifts during any of the other ceremonies.