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Location: Meknes&Rissani, Morocco, and Boston USA
The Imilchil Marriage Festival, the celebration of eternal sacred love, takes place annually for 3 days in August/September in Imilchil. Imilchl is a village in high Atlas mountains. The Imilchil wedding festival is a precious occasion for Berber tribes of the region to get together to celebrate the traditional wedding ceremony of their sons and daughters. Approximately of 40 couples assemble in this day to announce their marriage to the community; it is also a chance of life-time for other singles to meet their potential partners. The ceremony of three days is the right time for girls and boys to get adorned by dressing their time-honored clothes and bright jewelry, and performing a fantastic show of local berber folklore music and dance, as well as horse fantasia and camel trek.
The strangest thing about this event is the tragic story which constitutes the foundation and the motivation for this tribal wedding festival. The story says that two young lovers, the boy from ait-Brahim tribe and the girl from Ait-Azza tribe _ two opposite local tribes_ wanted to marry each other, but they were banned by their families whom their excuse was made according to specific traditional rules of the two tribes. So the desperate boy and girl shed tears to death; their tears and sorrows formed two actual bordering lakes one hers called “Tislit lake“ and one of his called "Isli lake". So to cleanse their unforgivable sin, the tribes of the region established the day of Imilchil Marriage Festival on the anniversary of the lovers' death, in which members of the two tribes are allowed to marry each other. Now, girls and boys from different tribes tend this Imilchil Marriage Festival looking for potential partners.
Photoes: (click to enlarge)
Berber Brides performing Aheydus (music&dance)
Aheydus performance at the wedding ceremony (music&dance)
Bride 1 at the imilchil wedding
Bride 2 at the imilchil wedding
The wedding celebration
Tislit (Brides') Lake