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Society and Culture

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A land of cultural and artistic meetings, Morocco offers its know-how to any kind of human creation which it regularly celebrates during the holding of festivals dedicated to the various modes of expression.

Popular arts of Marrakesh

The history of festivals in Morocco goes back to the 1960s particularly at the time of the launch of the Marrakesh National Festival of Popular Arts which celebrates, every year in July, traditional music and dance, with a specific topic for each edition.

Festivities take place in all main crossroads of the city: El Badii place, Jamâa El Fna, Royal Theatre and Harti Place.

Deep Moroccan rhythms, dances and songs... one of the various aspects of an old oral tradition which managed to survive with the passing years and accurately translated the originality and diversity of popular arts in
Morocco throughout ages.

A multifaceted culture where ancient and new choreography, melodies and rhythms get mixed. Echoes of a collective memory where people recognize and react by the expression of the body, voice and the borrowed sound - most of the time - at the rhythm of the daily life. Being the support of myth and a certain vision of the world, the rhythm is not only a sign of life; it is the bearer of cultural messages. Generations succeed but rhythms remain eternal. Every edition celebrates a different theme. The fortieth held in 2005 chose as theme the “magic of popular dances and choreography ".

Asilah Cultural Museum

The Asilah cultural museum which was launched in 1978 is the perfect example of the international position of the Moroccan culture in its various expressions (philosophy, literature, visual arts, cinema, theatre, music).

 The world famous thinkers meet each year in August to discuss a current event. Since 2004, cinema has been also introduced to this event with the organization of an international festival for Full-length and short films.

The characteristic of this event is that it associates all inhabitants in the celebration of their city through a collective pictorial fresco which points up the ramparts, walls and lanes of the city.

Fez Sacred Music

Fez Sacred Music Festival hosts, in May and since its beginnings in 1994, a number of artists coming from all over the world. It proposes a different type of music, spiritual this time, devoting a noble, authentic, lofty and not very common kind of music.

This the way that
Fez chose in order to pay homage, through music, to culture diversity and point up the values of peace and tolerance.

By doing so, the festival encourages constructive thought on the conditions of a spiritual and civilizationnal coexistence of peoples and the cultures at the same time, wishing to make the world a better place.

Essaouira Gnaoua Music

The Essaouira Gnaoua Music Festival was created in 1998 and became, since then, an inescapable meeting place for gnaouis musicians and those belonging to the jazz, pop and rock'n'roll contemporary world music movement who come from all over the world.
The festival’s audience is growing every year.

Accordingly, the number of participants at the beginning was 20 000 and became 400 000 at the last festival including a large number of people coming from abroad.
Every year In June, the festival delivers, during four days, its unique spirit around the gnaouis rhythms which guide the spectators and musicians invited at Mogador.

although they tend to be alike, each cinema festivals are distinguished one from another.

The creation in 1977 of the Khouribga African Festival is justified by its Panafrican vocation. Considered the ancestor of the Moroccan cinema festivals, it owes its organisational philosophy to the Fédération Nationale des Ciné-Clubs.

Mediterranean film Festival, created in 1985, was endowed, since 2005, with a management council in order to move to professionalization.

Launched by the association des Amis du Cinéma de Tétouan to promote Moroccan films, and films of the Maghreb in general, this meeting is one of the most important festivals in the Mediterranean basin.

The Marrakesh International Film
Festival, initiated in 2001, provides a selection of movies and a pallet of international top-level stars.
The Marrakech International
Film Festival Foundation is chaired by HRH Prince Moulay Rachid.
The Sale International Women's Film Festival which was launched in 2004 is one of rare festivals in the world which honours women cinema works.
Several other international festivals choose specific themes: The Mediterranean short film Festival in Tangier, the French-Speaking Film Festival in
Safi, the immigration festival of cinema in Agadir, the Maghreban Film Festival in Oujda in addition to the itinerant national festival which started in 1982 and which is of an exclusively local nature.


The Festival of Theatre in Meknes aims at promoting the national theatrical production. It points up the spectacles of the season and rewards the best ones.

Festivals Calendar
festivals organized by thee Ministry of Culture
Marrakech Popular Arts Festival
Imilchil Engagement Festival
Printemps des Alizés/ classical music
Asilah Cultural Festival
The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music
Essaouira Gnaoua Festival
Oudayas Jazz Festival in Rabat
Marrakesh International Film Festival
Tetouan mediterranean festival
Sale International Women's Film Festival
Maghreban Film Festival of Oujda
Date of creation: 2005
French-Speaking Film Festival of Safi
Date of creation: 2003
Agadir immigration festival of cinema
Date of creation: 2003
Tangier Short Film Festival
Date of creation: 2002
National Festival of Cinema
Date of creation: 1982
Azrou Moroccan Short Film Festival
Khouribga African cinema festival
Date of creation: 1977
Meknes International Animation Film Festival


© Copyright Embassy of The Kingdom of Morocco 2009