Food,  History

How we celebrate the arrival of the Amazigh new year

The Amazigh calendar is one of the oldest calendars that humans have used throughout different periods. Now we are in 2970 and unlike the gregorian or the Hijri one, The Amazigh calendar is not associated with any religious event. It was linked with a historical victory when the Amazigh won the pharaohs to be the 22nd family that had reigned the pharaon Egypt.

The Amazighs celebrate each year the anniversary of this historic victory by considering it the Amazigh new year.

Many research and studies indicated that the Amazigh calendar is related to the land. Some researchers consider the first day of the Berber year is a day that separates two periods which are the severe cold and the moderation temperature. This time of year is considering the beginning of an agriculture season.

Celebrating the beginning of the Amazigh year is associated with welcoming the agriculture new year in a good way which confirms the relationship that Amazighs have with the land. Celebrating that day is a way of expressing how they sacrifice and adore nature. It is remarkable that common traditions; customs and food that are prepared during that day have a connection with agriculture activities such as planting trees and livestock raising.

Despite the lack of studies and research that has been done on the origin of this celebration. Berbers consider the start of each Amazigh year a special day in their life and it presents the beginning of new period that hopefully will be better than the previous one. Celebrating “Yan Ayour”; the first day of the Amazigh new year which is the 13 January of the gregorian year.

There are several ways of celebrating the new year among the Amazigh people in the north of Africa; The differentiation depends on each country’s tradition.

Despite the small variation among the Moroccan Amazigh traditions. There are common traditions that unify most regions. On the last day before the next year, women prepare different delicious meals and dress beautiful traditional clothes.

In the Moroccan atlas, people welcome the new year by exchanging greeting and congratulations. The celebration is often shared between relatives and neighbors by singing and dancing during that day. Women cook a special meal called “Ourkimn” made basically from different grains types and it should be ready before the sunset and sharing it with the children of the village or with Newbrough’s. This soup should be cooked on each house and each family should eat it at the start of the new year some people can serve this soup with associated dishes it depends on each family’s financial capabilities. Couscous is also one of the necessary dishes that it is necessary to be cooked from different grains and vegetables that are cultivated in the atlas presented with a dish contains fruits such as almonds, fits, and figs.

During the first day of Amazigh new year women clean and decorate their houses while children harvest flowers and roses and place them at the entrances of homes and cover the floor soft herbs and everyone wears new clothes.

At the end of the day, families get used to setting around the table eating delicious foods while discussing different topics.

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