Morocco is an incredibly diverse country home to many different cultures. As a result, there always seems to be something going on in terms of traditional festivals and events.
Whether it be a traditional festival that includes running through the Sahara, authentic African music festivals, wedding festivals, or sacred festivals that include fasting during the day, Morocco has it all.
The great thing about Morocco’s diversity is that it gives tourists the perfect opportunity to get involved and experience local cultures.
No matter what time of year you visit, there’s a very good chance a festival will be underway somewhere.
If you want to experience the country’s festive traditions, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ve put together a list of 10 amazing festivals Morocco has to offer.
We’ll tell you what each festival is for, what you can expect, and where you’ll find them.
Let’s dive straight in!
The first festival on our list is a hugely popular music festival that takes place in Marrakech every year.
Taking place in October, the Oasis festival is a fine example of how festivals don’t always have to have great meaning.
Instead, they can simply be an entertaining event that everyone can enjoy.
The Oasis Festival is a house, electro, and disco music festival set in a stunning landscape that overlooks the Atlas Mountains (Also check out these other Amazing Mountains In Morocco).
During the festival, you can enjoy traditional music, dance the night away, and take in the spectacular views. What’s not to like?
Some people might not consider Marathon des Sables a festival but to many Moroccans, it has become a traditional festival that brings more and more tourists to the country every year.
Marathon des Sables is often regarded as the toughest foot race in the world. Taking place over six days in the Sahara Desert, this festival sees experienced runners from around the world take part in an extremely harsh race.
The next festival on this list is the Fes Festival of World Sacred Music. As you can probably already tell, this festival takes place in the ancient city of Fes.
The festival has been held annually in the city since its inception in 1994.
Typically taking place for 10 days during early June, this festival is an intercultural music festival that celebrates music from all over the world. With a heavy focus on community, this festival is one anyone can enjoy.
If you’re keen to experience a more culturally-related festival during your time in Morocco, keep an eye out for the Sefrou Cherry Festival. Also known by the name Moussem Hab A’Moulouk, this festival takes place in Sefrou.
Sefrou is a Moroccan city about 20 miles away from Fes. Taking place at the end of June and early July every year, this festival is on a UNESCO list of Intang Ible cultural heritage.
During the festival, cultural performances and experiences take place. Moroccan folklore is celebrated through food, dance, art, and sporting activities.
A beauty pageant takes place too to crown the next Miss Cherry.
The next Moroccan festival we have for you is Kalaat Mgouna Rose Festival. Also known as the rose festival, this festival is one of the most vibrant and exciting festivals Morocco has to offer.
Taking place in Dades Valley, otherwise known as Valley of the Roses, this festival takes place every May. The festival takes place to celebrate the rose harvest. Set in a beautiful Moroccan oasis, this three-day festival attracts more than 20,000 people.
As you can probably tell by now, most festivals in Morocco center around song and dance. The Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival is no different.
Known more simply as the Gnaoua festival, this festival features musicians from all over the world.
The festival is essentially an entertaining way to celebrate gnaoua.
For those that don’t know, gnaoua is a unique style of music inspired by the dance, music, and religious rites of African, Berber, and Arabic people.
This festival usually takes place in June and runs for four days. It always takes place in Essaouira. Visitors are treated to four days of traditional music hosted at 10 different open-air venues.
One of the more unique and interesting festivals that takes place every year in Morocco is the Marrakech Popular Arts Festival.
Attracting thousands of entertainers and artists from all over the world, this festival is perfect for those of you that want to experience something more unique.
Taking place in Marrakesh every year, usually in July, you can expect a lot from this festival. You’ll find acting troupes, fire-swallowers, snake charmers, fortune-tellers, and so much more.
One of the highlights of the festival has to be the men on horseback firing muskets. Most of the festival’s main events take place at El Badi Palace.
The Imilchil Marriage Festival has great meaning. A love celebration, it is a powerful and thought-provoking festival that celebrates love.
You’ll find this festival in Imilchil. It usually starts in September but the dates can change.
During this festival, the Berber communities that live in the Atlas Mountains come together to celebrate a famous legend.
Meeting in Imilchil, the communities retell the story of how two lovers drowned themselves after being told they couldn’t marry.
This romantic festival sees young men and women pick their spouses. A lot of couples will even get engaged at the festival. Despite being called the marriage festival, nobody actually gets married.
The penultimate Moroccan festival on this list is the Asilah Arts Festival. Perfect for artists and art lovers, this festival is extremely popular in Morocco. Lasting one month, the festival gives artists from all over the world the opportunity to sell their work.
The festival is also a forum for intercultural dialogue. Starting in late July in the city of Asilah, the Asilah Arts Festival has a lot to see and do.
The Hassan II International Forum Center hosts various performances from musicians, artists, and writers, whilst the streets are lined with handmade crafts, art pieces, and food stalls.
Asilah is the perfect place to host a festival like this. The city’s walled medina is covered with unique murals and vibrant mosaics.
The final Moroccan festival we have for you is the famous Timitar Music Festival. Hosted in Agadir, one of Morocco’s major cities, this festival is one of, if not the most renowned music festival in the whole of Africa.
Agadir is a city best known for its pristine beaches and impressive views of the Atlas Mountains.
However, it is the Timitar Music Festival that a lot of tourists visit. In fact, more than 500,000 people visit Agadir for the Timitar festival every year.
Interestingly, this music festival isn’t just a concert venue. It has actually also become a social movement that attracts a lot of people that want the human species to evolve into a species that is more open-minded.
In terms of what you can expect, this music festival takes place in February and runs for four days. Performances here come from a wide range of different cultures.
That concludes our list of amazing festivals in Morocco. In this guide, we gave you 10 awesome festivals that take place every year all over Morocco.
Whether you’re looking for an entertaining music festival, an arts festival, or something more traditional and culturally important, there’s a festival on our list that you will enjoy.
Admittedly, there are other festivals that take place in Morocco that could have made our list. However, we firmly believe that we’ve shown you the very best.
Festivals take place in Morocco all year round, giving you a good chance to take part during your vacation.
However, if there is a specific festival you want to experience, you might need to be a bit cleverer when planning your trip.