With temperatures in Morocco beginning to fall after the oppressive heat of high summer (although there’s nothing exactly cool about the 33º average maximum for Marrakech) it’s time for tourist visitors to think of getting out and about again.
September in Marrakech may be a good month for weather but, as usual, there’s much more than that to enjoy, as the following local festivities during the month reveal.
International Festival of Salsa – at the Palmeraie Golf Palace, from the 22nd to 26th September, you can try your hand at salsa dancing as more than 2000 participants from around the world take part in workshops, performances and dance parties. For more information take a look at the official website (tip – don’t have the volume up full on your pc or you’ll get a salsa shock!)
Festival of Marriage (Imilchil) – this culturally significant festival is, in a sense, a mass blind date. These days, the theme of the festival is love itself but, originally, it was staged as a great way for the young people of different tribes to meet and find partners, widening the gene pool.
Up to 40 couples actually marry during this annual event based on Morocco’s own Romeo and Juliet love story. According to legend, the lakes of Issly and Tisslit were formed when a man and woman who were forbidden to marry cried themselves to death. Their families were so grief-stricken that they established a day when members of different tribes could meet and marry. The Festival of Marriage was born.
Imilchil, a village in the Middle Atlas mountains east of Marrakech, plays host to this annual event. The place is alive with the sounds of Berber music during the festival and, combined with the opportunity to witness traditional dance performed by men and women of various Berber tribes, this makes it a particularly rewarding event for those interested in the traditions and culture of Morocco’s countless mountain communities.
Marrakech Art Fair – following the success of the inaugural Art Fair in 2010, the event returns to Marrakech at the Es Saadi Palace from September 30th to October 3rd 2011 exhibiting some of the best of contemporary art from all over the world at some fifty leading international art galleries throughout the city, most of it in the modern quarter. You can find out more at marrakechartfair.com.