Search this site

Lawrence of Morocco

Ramadan 2012

On Thursday evening, everyone was watching the sky in Morocco to see if the moon would appear. If it had appeared, Ramadan would have started the very next day all over Morocco. Since it didn't, Moroccans would only start fasting on the Saturday 21st July.

For the next 30 days, the entire country will live at the same rythm. No eating, drinking or smoking during daylight hours. Then, at dusk, all Moroccans will be waiting to break the fast with the traditional meal called 'Ftour'. Usually, milk, dates, Moroccan breads, cakes and fruit. Not to forget the most traditional dish, a soup called 'Harira'. Absolutely delicious !

Now, the big question is : Is Ramadan a good period to visit Morocco and Meknes ?
I really don't have an answer to that one. It's definitely an experience. I remember that my first Ramadan in Morocco absolutely stunned me. It is simply amazing to see the whole country stop simultaneously once the signal to break the fast is given. It is a common joke to say that the only sound that can be heard in all of Morocco is the slurping of harira ;)

It is a great moment of celebration and joy for all Moroccans. A great majority of Moroccans living abroad do all they can to come back to celebrate with their families. It is definitely a different Morocco from any other time in the year. After the meal, people go out very late for long walks. The old medina of Meknes is absolutely flooded with crowds every evening.

The down side of course is that you can't really travel as you normally would. In modern cities like Tangiers or Rabat, you will always find something open for lunch. In Meknes, the choice is greatly reduced. You would have to stick to hotels or riads. Riad Felloussia of course continues to function normally.
You might also find it uncomfortable to eat, drink or smoke in front of people who are fasting. This of course should be avoided if possible. Though fasting is an individual choice, some people tend to get very nervous. Especially the smokers. It is especially not advised to take taxis in the hour that precedes the breaking of the fast. Traffic just goes haywire with all the drivers being eager to get home in time for the Ftour. Small accidents and loud arguments are very common.

Whatever you decide, it is just important to know what you are getting into. If you are willing to compromise on comfort during your trip, Ramadan is definitely a very rewarding experience.

Happy travels and see you soon in Meknes ;)

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails