Morocco travel info

Guide to Morocco

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Morocco travel facts

Map of Morocco
Area (sq km): 446,550
Population: 31,228,981
Nationality: Arab-Berber,
Local Name: Morocco
Language: Arabic,
Time Zone: GMT
Currency: Dirham
Capital: Rabat
Dialling Code: +212
Electricity: 220V/50Hz
Internet Code: .ma
Religion: Sunni Muslim
Climate: Mediterranean,
Government: Parliamentary Monarchy
Inoculations: None
Driving: Right
Int'l License: Not Required
Banking: M-F 9.30-13.00
Major Airports: Agadir (AGA), Casablanca (CMN), Essaouira (ESU), Fes (FEZ), Marrakech (RAK), Nador (NDR), Tangier (TNG)

Imilchil Festival - Marriage Festival

Moroccans are people who obviously enjoy their traditional festivals, where music and dance, good eating and trading takes place. If you happen to be in the region at the time of these jolly celebrations, you should try to join in the fun, providing that outsiders are welcome.

Morroco Marriage Festival
Morroco Marriage Festival

The Imilchil Festival or the Marriage Festival is one of the most charming and unusual festivities in Morocco, it takes place at the end of August or in the month of September, at the end of the summer harvest. The Imilchil Festival is celebrated in the Imlichil region, in the Middle Atlas Mountains, near the burial place of the saint, Sidi Mohamed El Maghani.

Imlichil Region

The small Berber population of the Imilchil region (1858 inhabitants approximately) is scattered in very small villages, therefore, to find a prospective spouse is quite difficult. During the unique Imilchil Festival, also known as the Betrothal Festival, the young “candidates” congregate to see and possibly meet with each other, under the approving eye of their families.

Luckily for the girls, and according to the custom, it is them who choose the future husband. Widows and divorcees are also allowed to look for another husband during the festival. Although in the past only families from the region attended the Imilchil Festival, nowadays outsiders are also allowed.

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Origin of the Imilchil Festival

The origin of the Imilchil Festival is based on a romantic yet tragic legend. A young girl and a young man, belonging to rivalling Berber tribes fell madly in love, very much against the wishes of their families. The two families forbade the union and the lovers were so unhappy and cried so much, that two lakes were formed with their tears – the Isli and the Tislit Lakes. Both lovers died by drowning. The two rival tribes were so moved by the couple’s suicide, that they decided from then on that they would allow their young people to choose their spouses from any tribe. A lovely tradition that is still alive today.

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