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Marrakesh's annual folklore festival of Moroccan music, theater, and dance—the Festival National des Arts Populaires de Marrakech —draws performers from all over Morocco and may even include an equestrian event. Held in July on the grounds of El Badi Palace, the festival lasts about a week and usually offers an evening program at 8:30. Don't miss it if you're here; just check with the Moroccan Tourist Office, as the date is never confirmed until a month or so beforehand.
Aïd el Arch, or Throne Day, the commemoration of the king's coronation, is always on July 30. Parades and fireworks create a festive ruckus, and throngs of people fill the streets to listen and dance to live music. Aïd el Seghrir celebrates the end of Ramadan and is felt largely as a citywide sigh of relief. Aïd el Kebir, the Day of Sacrifice, has a somber tone; approximately 3½ months after Ramadan Muslims everywhere observe the last ritual of the pilgrimage to Mecca by slaughtering a sheep. The Youth Festival, La Fête de Jeunesse, held on July 9, celebrates children, who generally just run around the streets singing, dancing, and horsing around.
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