Celebrating Mamounia

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Yesterday, I attended my first Mamounia celebration at the home of a Moroccan family. Mamounia is a holiday unique to Moroccan Jewry, marking the end of Passover. It is a time when Morocco’s Jews open their doors to celebrate with their neighbors and friends of all faiths (i.e. Muslims, as well as Jews). Of course, no Jewish holiday is complete without plenty of good food. And last night included the kinds of delicious breads and cookies many in the room had been deprived of for a week during Passover, when leavened baked goods are forbidden. The celebration also featured Andalusian musicians, singing in Arabic in the “Grenadan” style, as well as a bout of piano playing and singing in Arabic, French, and Hebrew (and possibly a Spanish song or two).

Enjoying Andalusian music in a traditional Moroccan salon, in celebration of Mamounia.

The buffet table at Mamounia

Singing by the piano. Too bad I can't figure out how to get the video to upload.

This pic is actually not from Mamounia, but I thought this was an appropriate place to include a shot from another Jewish holiday, Pourim. It's a Sephardic tradition: an egg inside a bread bowl, symbolizing the eye of Haman (instead of his ear or hat, as in the Ashkenazic tradition).

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