Curiosities and traditions of Morocco

Morocco's wedding

The marriage is celebrated in Morocco following a ceremony that dates back to ancient ancestral traditions. The organization of marriage varies by region and highlights the cultural differences that occur, in particular, with various rituals, costumes, music, culinary traditions, etc..

It starts the day before the wedding, the bride with a purifying bath, bathroom done with other women close to her as relatives or friends. During the bath it is used the scent of incense and the room lighting is provided by simple candles lit for the occasion which is said to illuminate the way to happiness. Following the ceremony Henne or "Henna", always in the presence of a group of friends or relatives, a woman who knows how to draw the bride prepares with typical designs on the hands, arms, feet and / or in other parts of the body according to the pleasure of the bride. They use the leaves and chop pounded to a plant called the paradise for its green color and the symbols that it represents as protecting marriage from evil spirits and the evil eye.

The wedding day is held the "berza", great presentation ceremony of the bride. Dressed as a "tachcita" traditional that you can change up to 10 times depending on the social status of the bride, it is the seat base to be seen and admired by all the guests, in a festive atmosphere full of sound and color. In Morocco, more than anywhere, marriage is perceived, on the double floor, social and religious as an act of great importance.

At the organizational level the NEGAFATES jealously take charge of the bride during the wedding day. These women (generally two to three), very meticulous about any little detail, watch the bride's clothing, its composition, its hairstyle and also his step.
The groom's family is manifested in turn bringing the bride, in a musical procession in rich colors, present offered by his spouse. It is the ceremony of " hdia ", high point of the celebration of the union.

Typical Morocco's dishes

Moroccan cuisine is characterized by a thousand flavors from the regional specialties. Moroccan dish is couscous, semolina finely ground and cooked and served with a stew of lamb and vegetables and topped off with a very spicy sauce, harissa.

The tagine consists of stewed meat, accompanied by vegetables or fruit, cooked in an earthenware dish, glazed and decorated, from which it takes its name, divided into two parts: the bottom flat and circular with low sides, used to serve the dish and the conical top part which rests on the plate during baking. They can also be added to tuna and sardines, as well as sauces and spices, such as saffron, turmeric, ginger and pepper.

Another typical dish is pastilla, which consists in a compound of pigeon meat, eggs, almonds, cinnamon, saffron and sugar, contained in different layers of a sheet, said ouarka. Often during the holidays it is the kitchen mechoui, a specialty Berber; a whole lamb is roasted outdoors and seasoned with saffron and chilli.

Health and beauty with Argan oil

Since ancient times the Argan oil is produced from the Berber people for their health and for their beauty slowing the onset of conventional signs of aging. Argan oil is used for its emollient, moisturizing and highly elastic, it stimulates cell renewal and is used for massage as muscle relaxation. The main feature of this oil is its high content of vitamin E,

it contains twice as compared to olive oil. The Argan is a tree that grows in Morocco, in the south-western areas. It has ancient origins (it seems both appeared 80 million years ago), it is a hardy plant that lives for hundreds of years, which is well adapted to the arid climate of Morocco. The fruit is a berry oval yellow-brown which contains a nut extremely hard, inside which there are three "cores". A tree produces about 8 kg per year. The leaves are dark green, leathery, are used for food for camels and goats.

In the Berber people, to the production and preparation of oil they are responsible for women. Break the skin with stones, then the seeds are placed to dry on rooftops and are then roasted over low heat. Finished roasting, are ground by hand with a stone mill. The preparation is mixed with tepid water until it becomes a paste and from this you get out the oil. From each tree it can be harvested 30 kg of fruit, from which it has around 1 liter of oil. It needed a day and a half to make one liter of oil.

There are two types of Argan oil depending on that the kernels are roasted or less before use. The cosmetic oil, clearer, is used for application on the skin and hair, the cooking oil is darker and stronger taste because of roasting the seeds and is used to cook daily.

Zellige, the decorative art of Morocco

Zellige is a decorative tile that was born in Morocco and is used as an ornament both on the outside of buildings, fountains, courtyards, steam baths and in the interior. In Arabic, Zellige means "small polished stone." This tile, typically square and bluish in tone, is made of light clay that is then glazed with a typical Maghreb ornamental technique. This decorative art is centered on geometric shapes such as squares, rhombuses, triangles, stars, crosses and other polygons often combined together with different colors.

Beautiful examples of Zellige can be found at the Alhambra Palace in Granada, at the Madersa of Fes, at the Moulay Ismail in Meknes and at the Medersa in Marrakech.

The main use is in the interiors of the houses and this thanks to its bright colors that appear pearly and its irregular shapes such that each of them seems a unique piece. In Morocco we can find them in kitchens and / or bathrooms.

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