Ashura. A Time for Celebration and Joy
On the evening of Wednesday 18th through to Thursday 19th it is time for Ashura. A major holy day in the Islamic Calendar, marking the day that Musa (Moses) and the muslims were saved from Pharaoh by God creating a path in the sea. It also marks the day that Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammed, was martyred in the Battle of Karbala.
It is a wonderful celebration with unique cultural traditions dating back centuries. The following traditions are specific to Morocco and celebrated in different ways across the country from north to south to east to west.
Ashura is equated with joy and sharing, as well as gifting money and sweets to children who go door to door in a tradition called Baba Ashur. It also includes lighting a bonfire and sharing moments of joy around it, and answering each other via percussion and drumming.
It is a day when families, friends and neighbours come together to share delicious traditional delicacies — usually prepared together. The preparation also includes dried fruits and candy that are standard treats during Ashura.
Kourdass couscous is a traditional dish that Moroccans serve for lunch at Ashura gatherings. The Kourdass (a combination of dried meat and sweetbreads) is usually saved from the Eid al Adha sacrifice.
Another Moroccan delicacy served on Ashura is Krichlate, also known as Fqiqsat. They are little cookies presented with tea and other Moroccan pastries. Raphia has you covered just head to www.raphia.co.uk. where you will also find a selection of Fakia — everyone’s favourite appetiser on Ashura. Remember to share yours.