Morocco: A Land of Mystery & Beauty
Carpets, one of Morocco’s most remarkable crafts, are all intricately hand woven on looms. The carpets that are most recognizable are probably the Berber carpets. Berber carpets date back to the Paleolithic era and the hand spun cloth that was used to make the carpets are from natural materials.
Essential oils and perfumes are a very important part of Moroccan culture and are used on a daily basis as well in traditional ceremonies. One of the most coveted Moroccan oils now, especially in the cosmetic industry is Argan Oil. Argan oil comes from the kernel of the Argan tree (Argania Spinosa L), because the kernel is very hard to press, traditionally, it was fed to goats whose digestive system would remove the harder outer shell leaving the rest to pass through and the women would collect the kernel, clean them and press out the oil. Argan is an endemic species to Morocco.
Hamsa, also known as the hand of Fatima, the daughter of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, is a common symbol that can be found throughout Morocco, depicting an open right hand, which is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power, and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye. This symbol is often seen in jewelry or as door knockers on homes.
The Holy month of Ramadan is a time for fasting and praying for the followers of Islam. This month happens at various times every year and lasts about 29 days depending on the lunar cycle. From sun up until sun down, believers are to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual acts. At sundown families, break the fast with a meal called Iftar. The end of Ramadan is marked by the holiday know as Eid ul-Fitr, which brings about the next lunar month, called Shawwal in Arabic.