Sahara National Festival

Sahara National Festival

November or December
The Tunisian city of Douz is considered the gateway to the Sahara Desert. It is also the site of the annual Sahara National Festival, when nomads and Bedouins from all over the country gather to compete in camel races and to perform traditional music. There is also a poetry contest, a traditional wedding ceremony, and greyhound racing. The time of the week-long festival—which celebrates the date harvest—varies according to the weather, but usually takes place in November or December. A date marketplace is set up during the festival, usually on a Thursday, and fresh dates as well as lagmi (the juice of the date palm, fermented in the sun) are sold. Other items for sale at the market, which draws as many tourists as tribesmen, include camels, incense, ebony, rugs, desert flowers, caftans, and Berber tapestries.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of Tunisia
1515 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005
202-862-1850; fax: 202-862-1858
SOURCES:
GdWrldFest-1985, p. 178
(c)