Traditions and customs of Morocco

What traditions and customs are there in Morocco?

We investigate what are the customs and traditions of Morocco.


Food in daily life

Two of the most basic foods of Moroccan daily life are couscous and harira soup. Couscous, a dish made with granulated semolina grains, is usually topped with lamb, veal, or beef meat and a variety of vegetables such as tomatoes, turnips, and peppers. It is consumed by all sectors of society, and can be referred to as the national dish.

The national soup, harira, is a thick paste that comes in many varieties, although it is classically made with water, broth, beef or lamb, onions, saffron, nuts, and salt.

Figs and dates are among the most common fruits consumed on a daily basis. Breakfast in Morocco can consist of bread served with olive oil or butter, and coffee or mint tea.

Schools and businesses close at noon every day for two to three hours for a midday meal. A traditional dish that can be served during this time is tajine, a steamed stew made of meat and vegetables in a spicy broth.

A light dinner of harira soup and bread is commonly eaten in the evening. Fruit and marzipan cakes and desserts, a sweet almond paste, are sold in patisseries and on the streets.

Imported foods that are not part of the traditional Moroccan diet are available in major cities at French -style street markets. According to Islamic law, Muslims do not drink alcoholic beverages.

Food customs on ceremonial occasions

Moroccans are famous for their hospitality and proudly serve their guests as much food as they can afford. It is considered disgraceful to allow guests to leave an unsatisfied meal.

A specialty dish commonly prepared for ceremonial occasions is pastilla, a layered dough filled with pigeon, eggs, and walnuts, topped with cinnamon and sugar. Another specialty dish is mechoui, a whole roast lamb or beef, usually stuffed with couscous or other fillings.

In Moroccan homes, families and their guests eat from a communal bowl, usually without utensils, while sitting on the floor. Moroccan eating habits are interrupted during the thirty days of Ramadan, when all Muslims in the country must fast from dawn to dusk.

Moroccans who are seen eating or drinking during daylight hours in Ramadan can be arrested. During this time, all the houses prepare harira soup to be eaten as the first meal when the sun goes down. Late at night, a multi-course main meal is served.


Parents continue to have considerable influence over their children’s choice of spouse, although in some less traditional families this practice is changing.

Once a person with the appropriate financial and family background has been agreed upon, the groom offers a bride price to the family of the bride-to-be. In exchange, the bride’s family negotiates a dowry with the groom’s family and assures them that her virginity is intact.

Weddings are held during the summer months, and usually last two or three days, depending on economic circumstances. In traditional weddings, the bride is carried to the groom on a table, decorated with henna-stained hands and feet.

Islamic law dictates that Muslim women must marry Muslim men; however, it is acceptable for a Muslim man to accept a non-Muslim woman as his wife. If divorce does occur, it is likely to be instigated by the man, as a divorced woman has little chance of remarrying and may have difficulty supporting herself.


When greeting each other, Moroccans often shake hands and touch their hearts to show their personal warmth. The segregation of the sexes is very important in almost all social situations outside the home. Only very modern and westernized women are active in public life.

In the Berber countryside, the appearance of women in public may be a little more common than in the big cities. Traditionally, the elders are respected and honored by the entire community.

Moroccans have a very lax concept of punctuality. Dates, appointments, business meetings and people tend to be late without worry. Saving face, especially in public, is of the utmost importance and can lead to white lies being told to cover any potentially embarrassing or embarrassing situation.

When tensions do arise, yelling, expressing frustration, and generally creating a public scene is acceptable and quite ordinary.


Religious beliefs

Nearly 99 percent of Moroccans are Sunni Muslims. Moroccans are tolerant of the small percentage of Christians and Jews who live in the country, believing that they worship the same God.

The five main pillars observed by Muslims are: making a public profession of faith, praying five times a day according to the position of the sun, fasting during the month of Ramadan, giving alms to the needy, and making a pilgrimage to Mecca once. in the life.

The Moroccans have added some characteristics of their own to traditional Islam. Two of these features, whose origins are probably attributed to Berber religious practices, are Baraka and Murabitin.

Baraka refers to spiritual power that manifests in the form of a blessing or good fortune, similar to the concept of good karma in Buddhism. Murabitin are the individuals who possess the good Baraka, similar to the concept of sainthood in Catholicism. Baraka can infect individuals who spend time with Murabitin.

Also, most villages and neighborhoods in the medina have a diviner who will be in charge of offering a vision, providing a remedy, or cursing someone. When news travels that pagan practices are taking place, Muslim missionaries travel to the area to stop them and bring the people back to Islam.

Religious professionals

The king claims to be a descendant of the prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. He also holds the position of religious head of state, and all local religious leaders are subordinate to his decisions.

Rituals and sacred places

Small domed temples are built for the Murabitin after their death, as they are believed to continue to exude spiritual power. People seeking blessings, such as a woman who wishes to become pregnant, make a pilgrimage to the Murabitin temples.

Muslim mosques are found throughout the country. Traditionally, non-Muslim foreigners are not allowed to enter mosques. Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque, however, allows foreigners to visit some facilities.

Death and the afterlife

Due to the low number of doctors and medical clinics in the country, Moroccan families frequently face death. According to Islam, a body must be buried within twenty-four hours of death.

The family of the deceased prepares the body at home, perhaps with the help of a person in the community with experience in caring for the dead. The men are appointed to chant professions of Muslim faith as they carry the body to the burial site.

Moroccan women wear white during the period of mourning and, according to Islamic law, they must refrain from sexual relations for forty days after the death of their spouse. The bodies are buried on the right side with their heads facing south, towards Mecca. In this position they are ready for Allah’s resurrection on Judgment Day.

Then it will be decided whether the soul will enter heaven or hell. A day or two after the funeral, a formal meal is served while passages from the Koran, Islam’s holy book, are read aloud. The spirit of charity and giving are important to everyone during the condolence period.

Secular celebrations

Moroccans celebrate a number of national holidays and festivals each year. The National Holiday is celebrated on March 3, in celebration of the accession to the throne of King Hassan II in 1961. Independence Day is celebrated on November 18, commemorating the end of the French Protectorate in Morocco.

November 6 is Green March Day to commemorate the Moroccan march to Western Sahara in 1975. Among the most popular festivals are: the National Folklore Festival, held in Marrakech every June; the Rose Festival, held at El Kelaa des M’Gouna every May; and the Date Festival, held in Erfoud every October.

The arts and humanities

Arts support

International tourists are the main supporters of most Moroccan arts, including handcrafted pottery, rugs, jewelry, drumming, and stone carving. Several museums exhibiting Moroccan paintings and sculptures are supported by the state. Every year, the State awards the Moroccan Book Prize and the Grand Prix of National Merit.


Some of the most famous figures in Moroccan legends and literature are Aisha Qandisha and the Djinns. The legend of Aisha Qandisha is that of a beautiful seductive woman with the legs of a goat, who lives in riverbeds and in the flames. Aisha often appears to men in dreams and can render them powerless for life.

Moroccan children fear his presence. According to jinn legends, these spirits frequent places associated with water to play mischief in human affairs. The Berber tradition has a long history of storytelling and song.

Performing arts

Music is very common at festivals or when people gather for social events. Men and women sing while drums and stringed instruments, such as the lotar and kamanja, are played.

Musical gatherings are often accompanied by group folk dances. Women and girls are believed to be susceptible to falling into a trance while dancing to the beat of the drum. Snake charmers perform for tourists in major cities.

Customs and traditions of Morocco.

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