Saturday, May 09, 2009

El Kelaa M'Gouna Rose Festival

The View from Fez team rolled into El Kelaa M'Gouna on Saturday, the second day of the three-day Rose Festival in this southern Moroccan town. Helen Ranger reports:

Thousands of people from all over the area converged on the small town, where traffic was diverted, musicians played to local dignatories, beautifully decorated floats paraded the streets, and women were out in all their finery.

The crowds were massive.

An amazing number of people had dressed in rose-pink

Musicians everywhere!

All this in honour of the rose that grows in hedgerows in the surrounding area, and which is harvested in early May. The flowers are distilled right there in the fields, the essential oil is whisked off to France to make expensive perfumes, and the rosewater is available for sale in almost every shop in town. Small boys sell garlands of roses along the roadside and many people wear pink or rose-patterned clothes.

The perfect Moroccan rose.

Every rose product you can think of - plus some.

If you missed it this time, put it in your diary for next year - it's held on the first or second weekend of May every year.

Photos: Sandy McCutcheon. (Click on images to enlarge).


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