There are a number of key religious celebrations that take place in Morocco, the exact dates of which constantly change in keeping with the Islamic calender which follows the lunar cycle.
One such celebration is Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawī (the festival of the birth of the prophet Mohammed) which takes place in Rabi’ al-awwal, the third month of the Islamic calender. The exact nature of the celebrations differ in various corners of Morocco, but in the red city of Marrakech the festival is honoured by locals visiting holy shrines to ask for blessings, and also to give offerings to those worse off within community.
Traditional sweets, cakes and cookies are made by families and distributed, and new clothing for children is purchased. Adults also spend a portion of the day at local mosque’s, reciting poems and prayer.
One custom which some locals practice in the city is the crafting of fans, it is believed by a few that the day of the prophet Mohammed’s birth was exceptionally windy, and this tradition commemorates that.
As the festival draws to a close, families cluster across the leafy shades of the Menara Gardens to the modern parks of Gueliz and all the public spaces in-between to round off the days celebration with a picnic. Which is often accompanied by the dish Tanjia, a culinary delicacy unique to Marrakech.
During festivals such as Eid al-Mawlid an-Nabawī, Marrakech becomes even more charged with life and movement than usual. Experience the astounding culture of the red city for yourself today, through the comfort of a luxury Riad Hotel in the very heart of the Marrakech Medina.
Le Tanjia is a long established restaurant just five minutes from Dar Habiba, South of the main square in the direction of the Jewish quarter, the Mellah.
It is named after a classic Moroccan Lamb dish the Tanjia but the real signature dish is another slow cooked Marrakechi Lamb speciality ‘Mechoui’ where the whole lamb is cooked (traditionally undergound) for many hours.
On most evening there are belly dancers to add to the fun. Service can sometimes be a little slow but that leaves all the more time to enjoy the wonderful interior or the stunning views from the West facing roof terrace- a perfect place from which to watch the sun go down.
Tip for cooler evenings, the roof terrace is much more enclosed and consequently warmer than that of the nearby ‘Kosy bar’ which is another excellent Marrakech eatery.
Stay with us in one of our traditional Riads in Marrakech and experience an ancient way of living in many ways untouched for centuries.
Many visitors to Morocco are familiar with Tagine, the classic slow cooked Moroccan meal prepared in a cone shaped clay pot of the same name. The ancient City of Marrakech has a signature slow cooked dish which is even more special, the TANJIA.
The Tanjia dish is shaped like a greek urn, it is perfectly adapted to be used for slow cooking in the embers of the wood fires burning underneath the many Marrakech hammams public baths. Tanjia is tradtionally prepared by the men of the household, fresh meat, herbs and spices are carefully mixed and sealed in the Tanjia, these days lamb is most often used though historically it might also have been camel. The minimum cooking time for Tanjia is an incredible five hours at the end of which the meat is tender, succulent and tasty.
Our friend Simohammed is responsible for the ‘Farnaatchi’ wood fired boiler room of the hamman two minutes from Riad Cinnamon in the Central Medina. Simohammed is a proud Marrakech Tanjia cook as well as being an instinctive and talented gnawa musician. For special occasions Mohammed can come to our Marrakech Riads and perform. Here he invites you into his Farnatchi, demonstrates how to prepare Tanjia and welcomes you to the Marrakech!