Celebrate the New Year in Marrakech
Whether you are celebrating the New Year with family and friends or alone, Marrakech is a great place to spend the holidays. From Christmas menus to Amazigh celebrations, there is something for everyone.
During the past few years, Amazigh celebrations in Morocco have gained political momentum. Several movements and parties have been formed to advocate for Tamazight and Amazigh rights. However, the recent successes may not be enough to reverse centuries of marginalization.
The Amazigh cultural renaissance movement began as a grassroots effort. King Mohammed VI encouraged the movement by establishing the Royal Institute for Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) in 2001. This organization has played an important role in introducing Moroccans to Amazigh identity. While some critics argue that IRCAM simplifies Amazigh identity, others assert that it has worked to integrate the Amazigh language into schools.
In addition to ICRAM, other organizations have been founded to promote the Amazigh identity. These groups include the Berber Cultural Movement, which has advocated for Amazigh human rights.
Located in the Marrakech Medina, Jemaa el-Fna is a traditional North African market. During the day it is a busy, colorful market with stalls selling souvenirs, dry fruit, spices, and confectionery. At night, it transforms into a bustling bazaar with street food vendors.
The square is also home to a large, lively daily market, and a variety of other stalls. These include those selling brochettes, tajines, snake charmers, monkey handlers, henna tattoo artists, and water sellers. The market is open from 8 am to midnight, but some stores close during Ramadan.
The square is also home to gnaoua dancers, jugglers, and acrobats. In the evening, Berber musicians and storytellers perform. They play a wide range of traditional Berber instruments, including the bendir, rebab, tabl, and ginbri.
During the New Year, Essaouira in Marrakech hosts many events and festivities to ring in the new year. Here are some of the best things to do in Essaouira.
One of the most interesting places in Essaouira is the Jewish Museum. This small museum contains a beautiful collection of artifacts. This is a reminder of the coexistence of Moroccans and Jews.
The Jewish merchants came to Essaouira as King of Morocco encouraged them to settle there. These merchants promoted the trans-Saharan caravan trade. The Jews remained in Essaouira until changes in the trade forced them to leave.
In the past, Essaouira was home to around 40% of the Jewish population. Most of the Jewish families have moved to other areas of Morocco. However, there are still some Jewish families living in Essaouira.
Located in the heart of l’Hivernage, Bazz’art is a brasserie and lounge offering a number of international and Moroccan specialties. The restaurant also boasts a terrace that is a must see.
Aside from the standard buffet, Bazz’Art will also offer limited room service hours. This is a good idea for guests staying in the hotel, as they are able to enjoy a few drinks while waiting for their dinner to arrive.
In addition to its regular menu, the restaurant will also be serving the tiniest of New Year’s Eve parties. The event will include the following: a three-course menu (MAD 1900 for the pre-fixed menu), an amuse-bouche, and a “flash” – the fanciest of flashes.
Terre des Etoiles
Located in the heart of the Agafay Desert, Terre des Etoiles is an eco-friendly resort. Originally a lush succession of fields, the ecolodge was resurrected by Pierre Yves Marais. Today, the hotel and ecolodge offer a “back to earth” experience in a beautiful wild and hilly landscape.
The ecolodge’s staff is very welcoming and friendly. They provide information about excursions and activities, including horseback riding and camel rides.
The hotel restaurant serves a range of Moroccan cuisine. Meals are served buffet style or a la carte. This includes tagine, pastilla, couscous and organic vegetables. The dinner menus vary depending on the restaurant.
The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool surrounded by olive trees. It also has a rooftop terrace, which provides stunning city views.
During the Christmas season, Marrakech takes on a new and glowing character. The most notable attraction are the souks, which are an unrivaled feast for the senses.
The city’s best coffee shop is the Bacha Coffee House, which has 40 brews to choose from. While the name may imply that this is a coffee house, it is actually a restaurant, with a full bar, a wine cellar and an impressive selection of food.
As far as restaurants go, the Royal Mansour hotel’s opulent restaurant features some of the best dishes in the city. The menu includes delectable dishes like the buche de Noel (the French Christmas cake) and lobster seffa medfouna, which is a vermicelli dish sweetened with raisins.
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