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Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

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Leicestershire
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Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Hi All,

We have just booked flights for Marrakech not realising until a Riad subsequently advised us that it coincides with Eid el Kebir. We are arriving on the Thursday, with Eid el Kebir currently due to take place on the Friday. We are staying in Marrakech until the Sunday evening.

What are people's experience of how Eid el Kebir impacts on Marrakech? Obviously we expect the city will close down on the Friday but can we expect normal activity on the Thursday, Saturday & Sunday or is it likely that the other days will be affected too?

Thanks as always for your advice.

With best wishes,

Stu.

marrakech
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1. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Hi Stu,

This is another of those questions where the search box will really help. Type Eid el Kebir in and you'll find loads of posts from travellers with advice on what to expect. Lots of people have taken the time to post their experiences and opinions and it would be a waste not to make use of them.

Eid is the same every year so even older posts are valid.

Edited: 7:10 pm, August 28, 2012
Leicestershire
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2. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Thanks. Being a Trip Adviser 'old timer' I have tried searching before posting the question but the info is a bit contradictory with some saying the effect is only one day, but with others suggesting avoiding Marrakech as the celebrations go on for several days with much closed, hence my question to try to clarify things.

marrakech
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3. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Hi,

I apologise if this is too much information but thought it might help anyone thinking of coming to Morocco during the fete.

Eid al-Adha "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid", Eid el Kebir as it is known in Morocco is an important religious holiday to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God, but instead was able to sacrifice a ram (by God's command). Eid is also about spending time with family and friends, sacrifice, and thanksgiving for being able to afford food and housing.

The date is subject to adjustment 10 days before the expected date, depending on sighting of the crescent moon. It is expected about 70 days after the end of Ramadan, itself variable. In 2012 it will be around 26 October.

It is a 3 day festival, some shops close for just the day, banks and offices close for 2 days, some shops close for the 3 days, and some people travel to be with their families for the week.

Most families will buy an animal to slaughter for the Eid, and this is what impacts tourists mostly.

For the month before prices generally rise as people try to get enough money to prepare for the fete. A week before there is evidence in the local souks of things necessary for the slaughter, little mounds of hay and salt to keep the animal alive until the day, charcoal and braziers for sale, blocks of wood and axes for chopping, knife sharpeners and skewers for food preparation. And finally sheep being transported to the homes (often upside down on top of petit taxis or held precariously on motorbikes or bicycles) and kept on the roof terraces or in the courtyard. There is mounting tension and excitement in the air.

The sacrifice takes place in the morning and nothing is open, by mid morning the smell of cooking meat covers the city. About mid-day fires are started in some of the streets to cook the heads, and later other ones to cook the feet. Late afternoon barrels of offal will appear and guts can be seen hanging on terrace washing lines to dry.

In the afternoon many young people dress up very smartly and walk about, and the evening is a time for celebration. In Marrakech the square is deserted during the day but open for business in the evening.

In some villages in the Atlas there is a tradition of the young men dressing up in the goats/sheeps skins and visiting houses to general merriment.

London, United...
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4. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

I have been in Marrakech once at this time and was in fact flying home the day of Eid. The whole city was like a ghost town, getting a taxi was a nightmare and everything was closed.

I agree though that telling you to use the search box is not really helpful and hopefully someone can advise you a bit more.

Just a small point to those who spend all their tine directing people to the search facility. That may work on a PC but if you are using a phone app, as many of us do, it doesn't help at all.

norfolk
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5. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

it rather strikes me, that these 'phone apps' are not the most sensible way to use trip advisor. this site is such a valuable resource, precisely because people HAVE shared their experience and knowledge, and created an archive of good advice.

only accessing current posts is a bit like buying the rough guide, but then only reading the cover. you could go to a public library, where you could read the whole book, and access the whole of trip advisor.

thanks to shimmin for that very informative reply!

pam

LONDON
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6. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Thanks for the interesting reply shimmin. This is why i still read the forum, even though i have no current travel plans to Marrakech (unfortunately), you can learn a lot!

Leicestershire
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7. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Thank you Shimmin for your detailed reply. You mention that some shops close for just one day, others for the whole three days.

What percentage are open the next day i.e. are we going to see the 'real' Marrakech or is our experience likely to be very different due to closures?

With thanks and best wishes,

Stu.

marrakech
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for Morocco
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8. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Hi Stu,

Blimey, I thought that was detailed enough;-)

I can't say what percentage will be closed as it depends on the family comittments of the shopkeepers which could obviously change from year to year.

Many people don't want to visit during this time as it is not really something foreigners can share in unless they are lucky enough to know a Moroccan family and be invited to share it with them though personally I think you are totally seeing a very specific event in the "real" Marrakech.

Daytimes can be strange but main tourist attractions and restaurants are open at least after the first 2 days.

Personal choice; yes it will be very different than at any other time of year. Will it spoil your holiday? Up to you and what you want from your visit.

Perhaps in general my advice would be that the build up to the Eid is fascinating but the 2 (or 3 or more) days during it are challenging for visitors.

The Riad owners and staff will look after you but you have to bear in mind that any staff working at that time are missing out on a special time which should be spent with their families.

For many Moroccans it is a much more important event than Ramadan.

Hope all this is some sort of help. I've added your post and the replies to the Top Questions box so other people can be directed to it if they are interested.

9. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

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Haemeenlinna...
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10. Re: Eid el Kebir 2012 - how does it affect Marrakech?

Expect Almost everything to be normal Before and After The Eid

BUT Almost everything will be closed during the Eid day which is friday I guess

But you should be okay, Touristic attractions are always Open.