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History & Heritage


Do you know the Imilchil moussem?

This is an ancestral tradition practiced in Morocco, an annual festival during which young couples from different Berber tribes gather to collectively celebrate their engagement. A festive, friendly, colorful, but also practical meeting…

It is a very old tradition and a very important event for the region,” explains one of the members of the organizing committee. Every year, from September 19 to 22, the hamlet of Aït-Amer comes to life to the rhythm of the celebrations that accompany the marriages of the region’s young people. 

During the festival, Berber folk musicians make the men and women dance in traditional clothes in shimmering colors, while youyous, the high-pitched cries that accompany the celebrations, also resonate. 

A real practical dimension

In addition to the beauty of the festival, and the opportunity for the different tribes to come together to share moments together, there is also a real practical dimension to the Imilchil Moussem: the coming of an Adul, these notaries of Muslim law. They make the trip especially for the occasion in order to be able to sign the marriage contracts of the newlyweds who, after having settled the administrative formalities, return to the party, ring on their finger from now on. 

An infinity of Moussem

It should be recalled that the Moussem, also known as waada in Algeria, or agdud in Berber, generally refers to an annual regional festival that celebrates according to custom an event that can be religious, commercial, or, as here, simply festive. There are between 600 and 700 in Morocco alone, such as the dates’ Moussem in Arfoud in October, or the Tan-Tan Moussem, inscribed in 2008 on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In Algeria too, there are many different ones, such as the one at the Béni Abbès oasis, the most important. 

See also

Morocco: In Sale, the “mawlid” in procession of candles

Published on 27 September 2019