Spectacular Celebration of the Cherry Festival
The ancient walled town of Sefrou lies on the slopes of the Middle Atlas Mountains, in close proximity to the city of Fez in Morocco. The mountainous terrain and temperate climate make the region around Sefrou an ideal environment for cultivating cherries. The thousands of cherry trees make an exquisite display when they are covered in blossoms, and harvest time (around mid-June) is more than enough reason for the friendly inhabitants of this lovely Moroccan town to celebrate – and there is no doubt that the Cherry Festival is a joyous celebration.
In keeping with other festivals held at different times of the year in various venues throughout Morocco, the Cherry Festival features a colorful and lively line-up of music, dancing and events. Although the juicy, plump cherries remain the center of attention, festival goers who travel from far and wide enjoy the music and dance performances, and join in the parties and the torchlight procession, which is one of the highlights of the festival.
A variety of competitive games are played during the Cherry Festival and everyone is welcome to join in. A fairground entertains the crowds with a variety of exciting rides and games, while a busy souk (market) gives villagers the opportunity to trade an assortment of wares, including hand-made arts and crafts. The foremost event of the Cherry Festival is the crowning of Miss Cherry, who is then taken on a parade through the village surrounded by her many admirers.
Sefrou is one of the oldest towns in the region, and is believed even to pre-date the city of Fez’s 8th century structures. The region welcomes visitors who are drawn by the diverse and exotic beauty of Morocco and its people. Joining in a festival is one of the best ways that visitors to this fascinating country can gain insight into the daily lives of Moroccans. Many of the festivals are held in the larger cities and are very popular tourist attractions. The Cherry Festival is a wonderful opportunity for travelers to enjoy a festival that is a little off the beaten track in one of the most picturesque settings in Morocco.