Marrakech in July 2016 – Scorching Dates for Your Diary

With temperatures ranging between 21C and 37C, July is, alongside August, the hottest month of the year in Marrakech, both in terms of the searing dry heat and its popular festivals.

National and Religious Holidays

There are two religious festivals in July, the first of which, Lailat al Kadr, takes place on Friday, July 1st. Commemorating the night on which the Koran was originally revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, this ‘Night of Power’ is considered to be the Muslim year’s holiest event.

Eid al-Fitr

The second, equally important religious festival taking place in July is Eid al-Fitr, which sees Muslims around the world celebrating the end of the month of Ramadan by visiting friends and family and exchanging gifts. There are also numerous parades and street parties.

Eid al Arch

Eid al Arch, the ‘Feast of the Throne’, is a National Holiday marking the succession of King Mohammed VI from his father Hassan II. Held annually on the 30th of July, this day is celebrated with cavalcades (parades or processions on horseback), feasts and fireworks.

Hot Festival Dates

The event that makes July visits to Marrakech really special, however, is the Popular Arts Festival. Held throughout the month, this exciting pot pouri of cultural activity recognises and celebrates the full range of traditional arts in Morocco, including dramatic performances, dance and street entertainment involving singers and snake-charmers. Main performances take place on the central square (Jemaa el Fna) and at the Badi Palace while the performance involving horse riding in traditional costume takes place outside the city walls.

Jazz Festival Marrakech

If you love jazz, you should definitely plan a visit to Marrakech during its small but popular Jazz Festival, run on very similar lines to the long established Montreux event, held in several venues including the spectacular setting of the Bahia Palace and leafy Menara Gardens between 1st and 16th July. Details of this year’s programme will be found online shortly.

Other Things to Do

When you’ve had enough of scorching summer temperatures you can take respite from the sun by visiting the recently completed Musée de Mouassine at Derb El Hammam. Restoration of the 17th/18th century building (completed in 2015) housing the museum allows visitors a rare insight into what a private residence looked like during the Saadian period. The museum features a splendid collection of exhibits illustrating the tradition of Moroccan decorative arts, photography and music in daily life.

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