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Morocco: Christmas in the Maghreb

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Morocco, Arts & Culture, Religion

Although Morocco is primarily a Muslim country and although it's only the second week of December, Christmas is apparently in the air – at least for Morocco's foreign resident bloggers.

Connie in Morocco, a Peace Corps blogger, is ambivalent about the Christmas season [1] – torn between missing home and not missing the commercialism of American Christmas:

Being here has not changed the way I feel about the American Christmas season; I was beginning to get quite fed up with the commercialism and more reluctant to be sucked up in it. Being here has certainly made me even more aware of the reason for the season, as has become the cliche. I so miss family and friends, and music and all that, and the exchanging of a few thoughtful gifts, but I must admit it is a bit of a relief not to have all the advertising etc. “in my face.” That being said, it will be great, though, to be back home next year for the Christmas season.

Nicole of Moving to Morocco shares photos of her first Christmas in Morocco [2], complete with Christmas tree, remarking upon the surprising cost:

Moroccan Christmas tree

had wrote before that the store here was putting up X-mas decorations while we were there and Zouhair kept going back everyday to see if they had trees yet. Like 2 or 3 days later he came home from work and said they had them and we should go get one. We got to the store and I was really surprised at the amount of decorations and trees they had! We got the biggest tree (6′) and it was $12. I was thinking they would be expensive because there probably isnt a huge demand for it, but I was wrong, they were cheap!

Heather of Moroccan Meanderings remarks upon the lack of Christmas spirit [3] surrounding her:

It is hard to believe it is almost Christmas. So few signs of it here, no Christmas trees in public, no decorated shops and decorations only available in the big supermarket here…

Having spent one Christmas of my own in Morocco, I can tell you that it is quite a different feeling to be so far away from the traditions I've grown accustomed to. That said, Moroccans are wonderfully accommodating and although the holiday isn't celebrated, there are plenty of Christmas trees around! Happy holidays!