Koutoubia Mosque at night

P1000228During Ramadan, every night after the sun has set and their fast has been broken, many Muslims go to the mosque for extra prayers called Salat Atarawih. When night falls in Marrakech, many local people quickly descend on the Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech’s largest and oldest mosque, in an effort to find a place to pray inside for the Salat Atarawih prayers. Unfortunately, despite Koutoubia’s impressive size, there is not enough space inside to fit everyone who wants to pray. Therefore, during Ramadan, large speaker systems are installed so crowds of people can pray outside.

image (1)

These people praying outside need prayer carpets as they have often not prepared for this eventuality. Therefore it is not uncommon to find a few sellers setting up a small stall near to Koutoubia selling carpets. The mass prayer outside Koutoubia during ramadan is a site to behold; even if you are not Muslim, or even if you are not religious, the coming together of a community is truly heartwarming and the silence that falls over the crowd when the prayer begins provides a stunning moment of peace in an otherwise bustling and vibrant city.

Romantic Camals

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