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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Middle East & North Africa / Christmas in Morocco
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    Christmas in Morocco

    Annacia
    Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:29 pm
    Forum Host


    by Peter Lee for CultureLink International


    First of all, I would like to wish all readers a very Merry Christmas and I would like to write a few words about the Christmas atmosphere in Morocco.

    This is my fifth Christmas in Morocco, and I’m getting used to the style – no carols, no extravagant decorations, no last minute shopping, and no travel frenzy. I kind of like it better since we get to enjoy a calm, quiet Christmas. It’s just another ordinary day here in Morocco, where 99+% of the population is Sunni Muslim. They don’t celebrate Christmas here, and local schools and offices are all open.

    From time to time, I would see some Christmas items being sold in big supermarkets such as plastic Christmas trees, lights, and decorations, but it is largely a foreign holiday which most people here remotely connect to Papa Noel or Santa Clause. Although Jesus is considered an important prophet in Islam, most people do not necessarily make a connection between Isa al-Masih and Christmas.

    On the other hand, the Eid al Adha, the “Festival of Sacrifice” holiday is celebrated on December 9-10 in a grand style. It commemorates the sacrifice of a ram offered by Ibrahim (or Abraham in English). Many families who can afford it slaughter a ram, and have a feast with the meat. When we were home, we heard some loud sheep-bleating sounds nearby, and from our window we could see four young, healthy rams sitting in the backyard of our neighbor! Typically, they would slaughter one ram per a married male in the family, and it looked like our neighbor had all their grown-up and married children visiting. (They didn’t slaughter the ram themselves. There are those specialists who go around to different homes to do this service, and they slaughtered all four rams. It must have been a quite job even for these experts.) The few days following the Eid, the streets are filled with smoke from open fire grilling of sheep head and meat. Unfortunately, it rained heavily in the central Atlantic coast of Morocco during that whole week, ruining people’s anticipated and awaited activity although I saw some die-hards still trying to get a grill going under umbrellas.

    In Morocco, Eid al Adha is like Christmas in the west. Lots of food and family for a few days.


    Last edited by Annacia on Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:16 am, edited 2 times in total
    Elmotoo
    Thu Dec 05, 2013 5:01 pm
    Forum Host
    icon_eek.gif oh my. but very interesting. Thank you, Annacia!
    Annacia
    Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:46 am
    Forum Host
    I thought that it was interesting and I'm happy to know that the rest of the world isn't rushing out to spend all they possible can to keep the merchants smiling. icon_wink.gif
    chef FIFI
    Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:07 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Hi ladies....Eid is never falls on the same day every year...Eid Al Adha was celebrated in October this year.
    Annacia
    Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:16 am
    Forum Host
    Hi FiFi wave.gif

    I think it was comparing the significance of the holiday more than the actual dates but good to know my friend. Thanks for stopping in, you're always welcome. icon_biggrin.gif
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