About 30 kilometres to the South of the red city of Marrakech in the direction of Lalla Takerkoust lake, a small festival takes place in memory of the saint Moulay Abdellah Ben Hussain. This festival is called the Tamaslouht Musem (festival) and Tbourida (fantasia) and it occurs on the last week of January.
On the first day or Tamaslouht, occurs the Tbourida, or fantasia. This is where the various clans of Marrakech have the opportunity to compete against each other using Berber horses, which are known throughout Morocco for their strength and beauty.
The competition determines the strength of the relationship between rider and horse, and the coordination skills of a score of riders representing a clan. The riders leader, called a Cheikh or Kaid is responsible for organising the clan into a circular ring (called a Serba) and instructing them to watch carefully for his signal once the competition begins.
When the competition is in full effect, the riders must be ready at a moments notice to recognise the
Kaid’s secret signal, so that they can rally their horses shoot the gunpowder they use (called Baroud) into the air in complete unison.
Both rider and horse don the colours and style of their respective tribes, and where in centuries past these competitions were engaged with only by men, in modern times women too are allowed to try their hand.
After the first day of Tbourida draws to a close, festival goers then join the Musem, involving children’s games and circus acrobatics. Another important feature that plays into effect over the course of the four days is the trance-like music of Gnawa and Issawa, which is played ritually throughout the Musem. This music is intended to incite a spiritual and calming atmosphere, whereupon festival goers can invoke the blessing of the saint Moulay Abdellah Ben Hussain.
The Tamaslouht Musem and Tbourida festival, and many others like it are commonplace in the ancient city of Marrakech. Explore the red city today in one of our luxury Riad Hotels.
Walking down the street of Souikat market in the North West of the Marrakech Medina you see two men pulling an unwilling full sized ram towards you, it passes and you think nothing of it. An hour later, in the distance pipes and drums begin to play which gradually crescendo and from a distance you see a large procession of 50 people, fronted by a band dressed in traditional Marakkechi robes marching to an enchanting beat.
Engagement procession outside the charity project Henna Cafe
Representing the second step of a Moroccan engagement, lavish gifts are given from the groom’s family to the brides, along with the highly significant act of slaughtering a sheep, reminding Muslims of the sacrality that is life.
Milk, dates, henna and sugar are given to the female from the male in a earlier step of the engagement each representing a specific necessary characteristic of a long and healthy marriage.
With the wedding and subsequent celebrations sometimes lasting in excessof 25 days, Morocco has a vibrant charm but with roots very much grounded in humble traditions.
As a beautiful setting for an engagement, wedding or anniversary, riad Dar Habiba, with a private Hammam, offers you warming lasting memories in the heart of the Marrakech Medina. Just one of our outstanding Riads in Marrakech
Le Comptoir also known as Le Comptoir Darna is a legendary Marrakech venue, located in the Rue Ahmed Chaqui in the heart of the buzzing Hivernage district West of the Old town Medina. Dependable up market dining with an excellent show usually comprising drummers and dancers who perform in a variety of classical and cabaret styles. Upstairs is a bar with music and dancing until the early hours.
Le Comptoir is a favourite recommendation for a group looking to celebrate a special occasion. Your Marrakech Riad can help you reserve a great table, we can even arrange for a horse and carriage to collect you from the Riad to take you on an unforgetable night time tour of old Marrakech ending at the restaurant just in time for for dinner.