Meknes Morocco at Ramadan – What a celebration !

Meknes Morocco at Ramadan – what a celebration !

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – fishing # 1

The BIG SQUARE as they refer to it in Meknes is the place where all the action is. And today being the day after (or the day after that?) Ramadan is facially over means it is party and celebrations everywhere.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – fishing # 2

Explorason has a rod placed in his hand and joins in a game.

Little kids drive remote control cars around as parents and friends steer them. They scream and cry and don’t want to get out at the end.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – remote cars

Every night these ladies sit here in a row. We pass them on 3 nights.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – old ladies

This is the tea seller – or it might be café – not sure, but I love his clothes and hat.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – beverage seller

Kids also delight in feeding monkeys. Now I am not a fan of this. These monkeys are kept in cages and we were chased and made to pay for this photo. I’m not a fan.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – monkey business

As you can see, the Big Square is full. There are people having their photos taken in traditional costumes, and a stage is set.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – a crowd gathers at the square

In the Medina, you can find men playing cards. Good on Explorason for his sneaky photography on this shot!

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes – card time

Souks are selling their wares, as ladies shuffle down the lane ways.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Medina

Across from the Big Square are two massive gates.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – everyone seems to be on holidays

I see a garden behind and this is heading toward the palace, but I am not sure what is there.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – we join the family ‘happy snap’

We join the “blue” family for a photo. I was told that Moroccans don’t like their photo taken. This sure isn’t the case in Meknes!

We wander around to the Mausoleum and I love the mosaic work that is everywhere.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations – coffee time?

You can walk opposite the big square for about 5 minutes of zigzagging, to find it, and it is free.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Mausoleum doors

We stand at the large doors, and are told that it is OK to enter and we must remove our shoes later. No worries.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Mausoleum inside

There are staff to show you where you leave your shoes and you can tip (we didn’t as I only like to give to the poor), and we go in and enjoy the coolness on our hot feet.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Mausoleum chamber

Here is the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and it is chained off.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Mausoleum mosaic roof

It is grand and I feel for the poor of the town. I always see grand churches, mosques and palaces, and I think of the lowly folk of the towns who live barely able to feed themselves. It breaks my heart.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Mausoleum mosaic cove

I love the cove that Explorason stands in. How gorgeous is that?

This is the official door into the area. We use a side door instead.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Mausoleum entrance

Outside the water troughs no longer flow water. They are here solely for decoration.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Mausoleum outside

These photos are not good, but the next night we are out and there is suddenly a loud lot of noise.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan procession #1

There is a street parade, and fire breathers, men on stilts and crowds come down the street in full colour.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan procession #

Ramadan is over. It is time for them to celebrate.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan procession #3

There is a huge Jewish community in Morocco. Here they march.

What happens after this is not so good. A pregnant lady holding a small child is hit by a motorbike. The ambulance can’t get through the crowd and the screams of her and her child are horrible.  I pray for her and leave. The crowd is so thick. They don’t need “rubber-neckers”. That moment made me so thankful we are safe in our travels.

What I find hard to believe is that every night for 3 nights the crowds are drawn to the square.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes Ramadan celebrations at the square

Corn is cooked on the grill. It smells good. There is popcorn and a lot of other wares for sale.

It is nice to smell the aroma of other foods apart from Tarjine – don’t get me wrong I love Tarjine. Just too much of a good thing… as they say.

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Exploramum and Explorason – BBQ corn

So our final night is over.  We head past our local grocer who has more cartons visible than stock and at first we think no-one is there. Then we see him tucked next to the refrigerator and I think he has passed out. No, it is prayer time and he bobs up and down. He finishes and serves us.

No,Meknes is by miles the cheapest town to shop in for Morocco. Come here to buy your souvenirs. Souks have most of the same items at a quarter of the price.

So if you are planning a trip to Morocco, make sure you put Riad Hiba and of course Meknes on your list. Friday’s it is closed as you will find many of the old cities, so keep that in mind. But it all comes to life every night of the week.  To me, this was my favourite place to shop, and to stay. Just loved it!

We also stayed at a lovely Riad Hiba and I will blog on that separately soon.

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Exploramum and Explorason – Meknes – our local grocer

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