This weekend saw the traditional Imouran Moussem at Imouran beach (also known as Devils Rock).
The origin of this ancient festival is not clear but it is based on a tradition of the young women of remote villages converging on the rocks at Imouran in the hope of finding a future husband.
The more athletic women climb around the far side of the rock to a hole close by the water where the wash from seven waves offers them hope of marital bliss and fertility.
The place is packed with young women all dressed up in their best outfits and lots of young men trying to impress them with various acts, including some cliff diving (which looks terrifying!).
Both groups are chaperoned by onlooking parents and relatives to ensure the best of behaviour!
The last time we went to this festival, the traditional horsemen were performing the famous charges with gunfire, known as Fantasia, which was truly spectacular, but the post-Covid event never had this. I hope in years to come it will return.
The event is certainly very lively, with many food stalls serving up traditional fare as well as more modern fare like candyfloss and ice cream. A few of my favorites are Prickly Pears (make sure the vendor prepares it for you to avoid needles) which are so sweet, and the crushed sugar cane, ginger and lemon drink – sounds awful but is simply amazing and very refreshing.
The atmosphere is normal Moroccan – totally manic and noisy with loads of people just milling around chatting – we are pretty used to it all now but it can feel overwhelming.
We had a nice walk around, bumped into some friends and enjoyed the atmosphere. I saw a “Mr Whippy” ice cream seller, but I was not brave enough to buy one…somethings are best left alone if the origin is uncertain!
If you are in the area next September, it is well worth spending the evening here – it is traditionally the first weekend of September for 3 days – so check it out.