Pilgrimage to Moulay Idriss

Pilgrimage to Moulay Idriss

Late August or September
The most important moussem, or "festival," in Morocco is held in the holy city of Moulay Idriss. Moulay Idriss I was the eighth-century imam (Muslim prayer leader) who united the Berbers and founded the city of Fez and the first dynasty of Morocco; he is supposed to have had 500 wives, 1,000 children, and 12,000 horses. His burial place is the white Mausoleum of Moulay Idriss. The town named for him grew up around the tomb after his death.
This moussem lasts several weeks and alternates between prayers and celebrations. A feature is the fantasia, a great charge of horses and costumed riders who fire their rifles into the air and perform equestrian stunts as they gallop. There are also bazaars and singing and dancing.
CONTACTS:
Moroccan National Tourist Office
20 E. 46th St., Ste. 1201
New York, NY 10017
212-557-2520; fax: 212-949-8148
www.visitmorocco.org