The most popular festivals and events in Marrakech, Morocco
Marrakech is a wonderful Moroccan city that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world to see the beautiful tourist attractions that the city has to offer, and one of the fun things that people like about Marrakech is the festivals, which are also a source of attraction for many celebrities from different parts of the world.
Next, I will introduce you to the most prominent festivals and events organized by the red city of Marrakech including sports, music, and film festivals.
Marrakech International Marathon
Marrakech International Marathon is organized every year and attracts more than eight thousand athletes from all over the world to race around the ancient city walls. Also, there is another twenty one kilometers half marathon for young children, and this marathon also coincides with the Moroccan Marathon Championship.
Marrakech Marathon started in 1987 and was held under the presidency of the King of the country. Since then, it is organized every year in the winter, and this of course greatly affects the records of the professionals who participate in the race, where they often achieve great records under two hours and ten minutes.
This Marathon was ranked by the International Athletics Federation in 2013 in the sixth place worldwide after other marathons such as the Dubai Marathon and the London Marathon. Also, this marathon is funded by several different Moroccan authorities, including the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the state of Marrakech, as well as the Royal Moroccan University...
Marrakech Biennale Art Festival
This festival is held every two years in the period between February to May and it is a contemporary art exhibition showcasing all arts from various sides such as cinematic art, literary art, music, and much more.
Founded in 2004 by Vanessa Branson and Abel Damoussi, the Marrakech Biennale is a not-for-profit association whose mission is to position Marrakech as a platform for contemporary art in Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. By benefiting from Marrakech’s ideal location as a geographic and cultural crossroads, the Marrakech Biennale has been a world class event synonymous with artistic excellence and cultural diversity, and has promoted dialogue through all forms of artistic expression.
The Biennale has focused on cutting-edge contemporary Visual Art, Literature, and Film. It has consisted of a main Visual Arts Exhibition, other arts exhibitions, installations and happenings, discussions, debates and screenings based in the eclectic venues and settings that Marrakech has to offer. The Marrakech Biennale also has an Education and Internship Program which promotes intercultural, interdisciplinary and inter-generational exchange between Morocco's student population and the artists, staff and international visitors of the Biennale.
The WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) Of Morocco
The WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) motor race is held in Marrakech from 6 to 7 April of each year, and it is the largest event of its kind in all of Africa. This race is the most awaited motor racing event in Morocco, not only because of the sheer number of spectators present – about 200,000 in the general area and 30,000 in the V.I.P. area – but also because of the festive atmosphere that reigns there.
The event also gives rise to many activities in addition to the sporting competition: karting track and racing simulators in F1, first time racing in two-seater Formula 1, car and motorcycle exhibitions, street entertainment, car parades….
Ramadan in Marrakech
The holy month of Ramadan in Marrakech is the best month of the year. Many celebrations and preparations are held for it, not only in Marrakech, but in all Muslim countries, as this month brings joy and happiness to the Muslims that fill up the beautifully decorated mosques, and streets at night. As a non-Muslim, you are not expected to fast, however out of respect, you should avoid eating (including chewing gum), drinking and smoking in public during daylight hours. Also, everyone should dress modestly. It is advisable for women to avoid short skirts and sleeveless tops. We advise to bring loose fitting layers.
At sunset, you will experience a sense of calm as the streets quieten. Cannons sound to announce that it’s time to eat. Mosques lay out food for the people that have been fasting. Restaurants are open as usual. You will also be able to experience some special Ramadan foods. That you would not otherwise experience.
Ramadan in Morocco for tourists is a great way to experience a sense of community. You will see street vendors sharing food together when breaking their fast.
The National Festival of Popular Arts in Marrakech
This is one of the oldest folklore festivals held in Marrakech in July every year. It features local traditional music, theater, poetry, and other art events. Amazigh musicians, dancers and street performers from around the country pour into Marrakech to thrill the masses.
What is kind of surprising is, not only Moroccans perform in this festival, but also artists from other countries such as the French and Algerian artists. Festival participants observe the diversity of the musical heritage in terms of the geographical diversity known in the Kingdom of Morocco and, more importantly, its conservation and development.
Oasis Festival in Marrakech
Morocco's Oasis Festival has now established itself as a leader in North Africa’s thriving festival scene. Embedded in the cool shade of the Atlas Mountains a short drive from the center of Marrakech, Oasis is usually hosted in the luxury Fellah Hotel, where a philosophy of wellness and heritage provides a rejuvenating base to party poolside late into the night.
Promising an atmosphere of relaxation and wellness that stands apart from its peers (from morning yoga to a spa and hookah lounge), Oasis Festival is an another unique cultural experience in the spectacular Red City with internationally lauded electronic music at its fore.
Marrakech International Film Festival
The Marrakech International Film Festival was established in 2001 by His Majesty King Mohammed VI to promote arts and the film industry in Morocco. Since then, this festival has become one of the best and most famous international film festivals in the region of the Mediterranean sea.
The FIFM was born concurrently with the renewal of Moroccan cinema, in the early days of this century, when the country became the site of the principal photography of many international productions. The festival's jury gathers international writers, actors and personalities, and endeavors to reward the best Moroccan and foreign films.