MOROCCAN ART OF LIVING

THE CEDAR

Like the argan tree, cedar is an emblematic tree in Morocco. The most famous and dense cedar is undoubtedly that of d'Azrou, even if we find this tree in the forests of the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas. With a height of up to forty meters, the cedar of Morocco differs from its cousin of Lebanon in that its branches are shorter. He has accompanied over the centuries the history of the kingdom and the various dynasties that followed. If we still appreciate cedar masterpieces dating back several centuries, it is thanks to its immense resistance to time, which can be explained in particular by the powerful essences that the wood releases, acting as a insect repellent. From the nineteenth century, appears with the Idrissids, a style of woodwork inspired by the East, where dominate large Persian leaves. From the XIth to the XIIIth centuries, the Almoravids and Almohads introduced Hispano-Moorish art. But the work of this wood, reaches its peak between the XIVth and theXVth centuries. Cedar is everywhere, both in civil buildings (palaces, hospitals, etc.) and in religious monuments (medersas, zaouias, mosques, etc.). Houses are also invested: tables, benches, jewel cases, ceiling, cedar is a popular material, including for everyday objects. Modern works such as the Hassan Tower in Rabat or the Casablanca Hassan II Mosque still use this "green gold" today, allowing Maâlems (master craftsmen) to express their art and creativity.

MOROCCAN HOSPITALITY

Hospitality in Morocco is sacred. When a family receives guests, they are comfortably installed in the large lounge reserved for the occasion on sofas. After serving the traditional mint tea, which respects a specific process, often accompanied by sweets, comes the time of the heartyand delicious meal shared by all the guests in a unique dish. It begins with an invocation to God's grace, "Bismillah", and then ends with a "Hamdullilah" (mark of gratitude to God). The meal is tasted with the right hand which holds the bread so to dig into the dish. The left hand is considered impure, it is generally used to clean the body. If you do not have the opportunity to have direct contact with Marrakchie families, you will still feel the hospitality of the merchants of the medina. And this can take different forms: a glass of tea that you are offered or the sharing of the dish he is enjoying. Refusing is perceived as an offense, so let yourself be tempted by the delicious scent of tea combined with mint. It is also an opportunity to meet people and learn more about Moroccan culture.

CALECHE RIDES

Marrakesh is one of the rare cities to keep carriages as means of transport. This kind of transport is used for 200 years in this Moroccan city. Several carriages richly decorated crisscross, at the same time, the lanes of the Medina, and the paths of olive grove and the palm grove to become part of a decoration and the most expressive curiosities of Marrakech. To see them circulating quietly in streets, we got a big desireto borrow one and make a beautiful stroll. Indeed they allow you to visit easily the main remarkable sights of the city.

MINT TEA

The ritual of mint tea is an essential tradition in Morocco. The tea, distributed by the English who held the trade, was adopted in Tangier before going around the Arab world. The art of tea is almost as ceremonial as in Japan. Each region of Morocco has its method of preparation, even if the infusion of black tea leaf in boiling water, then added mint leaves remains the basic preparation. Large quantities of sugar are added, it is a Tuareg tradition to fight against extreme heat of the desert. The consumption of tea requires a copper tray and tea equipment (a teapot, tea glasses, a tea box, a sugar box, a kettle). The master of the house tastes the tea, and serves it by simultaneously using two teapots to fill the glasses by pouring the beverage from very high. Any occasion is good for making tea during the day, and it is consumed at any time. It is the drink that Moroccans offerto the guests. It is the most refined expression of Arab hospitality. It can also be served before the meal, as an appetizer. After a meal, it's time for chatter and well-being.

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