Eid al-Fitr is a national holiday in Morocco where all the schools, many restaurants and cafes, and almost all the shops, businesses and administrations are closed. Buying new clothes and shoes is a very common preparation for this important holiday as wearing new clothes is an Eid custom. Some charity associations or even neighborhoods collect donations to help needy families get new clothes for their children as well. Giving zakat a couple of days before Eid prayer is also widely practiced amongst Moroccans.
Celebrating Eid begins early in the morning. The men, dressed in jellabas or jabador and shoes called belgha, go to the Eid prayer at a masjid, a large hall or an open space. Women also dress up in traditional clothing such as the kaftan, takchita and djellaba. They concentrate their time in the kitchen to prepare Moroccan pancakes including baghrir (spongy semolina pancake), msemen rghaif (flaky square pancakes) and batbot (a fluffy round bread, soaked in hand-churned butter and honey).These pancakes are served for breakfast which are accompanied by sweet mint tea.
Festive dishes are prepared for lunch like lamb or beef tajine with prunes, couscous, chicken with olives and preserved lemons, seafood or chicken bastilla and chicken rfissa along with homemade pastries, cakes, and cookies. The most famous sweets are briouat bil luz (pastry triangles filled with almond paste) and kaab el ghzal (crescent-shaped cookies filled with almond paste) among the other treats that people enjoy.
Families go to visit close relatives at their homes in the afternoon or evening. The visits continue the next day if you are not able to visit all of your relatives on the day of Eid. Kids receive a small amount of money from relatives as they encounter them throughout the day. Eid al-Fitr is not a commercialised festival with decorations in Morocco. Instead it has a strong focus on religion. Celebrations are often fairly low-key taking place mostly in homes. It is a chance to be together with families.
Composed by Filiz Arslan