His Majesty King Mohammed VI has as soon as once more demonstrated that the Amazigh persons are an necessary part of Moroccan society.
For a few years, the Amazigh, also referred to as Berbers, yearned for recognition in Morocco.
Every time they might rejoice their new 12 months – on 13 January – they might take to the road to mark Yennayer. The Amazigh, generally known as Imazighen, have their calendar derived from the Julian one, utilized in Europe earlier than the Gregorian one.
In North Africa, it was used to manage the agricultural seasons. Greater than something, the celebration represents the bond between the Amazigh, their land, and the earth’s wealth and generosity.
Yennayer is, due to this fact, a competition of nature, agrarian life, rebirth, and abundance.
In line with students, the time period ‘Yennayer’ is believed to be a mix of the phrases ‘Yenn’ (One) and ‘Ayur’ (month) in Amazigh. Fascinatingly, it is usually the identify given to the primary month of their calendar.
The competition took on a proper standing within the 60s when the Paris-based Academie Berbere began counting the Amazigh years from 950 BC.
But it surely was by no means an official vacation in Morocco. Nonetheless, they might proudly put on their conventional costumes and put together Amazigh dishes as troupes carried out, celebrating the daybreak of a New Yr of their calendar.
In current instances, the celebration of Yennayer has taken on an added significance to maintain their cultural id alive.
Not too way back, multitudes of Berbers gathered to rejoice the brand new 12 months in entrance of the parliament in Rabat to have the ability to cross their message.
The Amazigh requested that the authorities contemplate this vacation a time off and a nationwide vacation. In 2021, Moroccan authorities made a dedication that they might quickly recognise it as an official one.
Precisely ten years earlier than that, their language had been recognised as an official language, alongside Arabic. This was enacted within the 2011 Structure, because of King Mohammed VI’s decree that got here within the wake of the Arab Spring.
It was becoming for the Amazigh, whose identify means proud free folks.
On Might 3, 2023, King Mohammed VI took it a step additional, issuing a decree “to institute the Amazigh New Yr’s Day as an official paid nationwide vacation”.
“On this context, His Majesty the King, could God glorify Him, has given His Excessive Instructions to the Head of Authorities to take the required measures to implement this Excessive Royal Choice.
“This Royal initiative involves consecrate the Excessive solicitude of which His Majesty the King, could God protect Him, doesn’t stop to recognise the Amazigh as a vital part of the genuine Moroccan id, enriched by the plurality of its tributaries, and shared heritage to all Moroccans with out exception.
“It is usually a part of the constitutional consecration of the Amazigh language as an official language of the nation, alongside the Arabic language,” reads a press release by the Royal Workplace.
The event implies that the Amazigh will freely get pleasure from Yennayer festivities with their households on the flip of the New Yr, realizing their day is an official vacation.
The celebrations are based round household gatherings, with most households getting up early within the morning to arrange a variety of conventional dishes clad in conventional garments.
Generally, they put together Couscous, with some hiding almond items with the promise of entrusting whoever finds it with the keys to the household’s meals storage room.
Different dishes widespread within the celebrations are “tagola,” a mix of corn, butter, ghee, Argan oil, and honey, and “irkmen,” a thick soup comprised of fava beans and wheat.
Music, dancing, and parades additionally take centre stage, with most songs expressing love, prosperity, and fertility.
Coincidentally, the 12 months’s starting coincides with the flowering of almond timber, making it a superb event to hope for agricultural prosperity.
For the agricultural people, the day is about resolving misunderstandings and exchanging meals with neighbours.
The transfer by His Majesty The King promotes non secular and cultural pluralism within the North African nation.
It is usually seen as a necessary step for Moroccans to reconcile with their historical past and cultural id.
The Amazigh folks’s inhabitants throughout North Africa – in nations together with Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, and components of Egypt – is estimated to be 30 million. Morocco has the very best variety of Amazigh natives.
Forward of the Gregorian calendar by 950 years, the Amazigh calendar’s first day falls on 13 January yearly. Different Amazigh communities in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt begin Yennayer celebrations on 12 January.
In some cases, the celebrations go on for 3 days. When the 12 months 2024 kicks off within the Gregorian calendar, the Amazigh will mark the 12 months 2974.
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