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HomeCulturalOld Moroccan Tradition Heralds New Spring Orange Blossoms

Old Moroccan Tradition Heralds New Spring Orange Blossoms

A foreshadowing of paradise for some, Moroccan sisters get their distillation coppers brewing orange blossom teas and honey-laden pastries to welcome the Spring.

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A foreshadowing of paradise for some, Moroccan sisters get their distillation coppers brewing orange blossom teas and honey-laden pastries to welcome the Spring this week.

Byline Sam Metz

Orange blossoms are among Morocco’s quintessential fragrances. Moroccan women are welcoming spring by collecting the waxy white blossoms in copper pots used to distill the scent that’s folded into honey-laden pastries, sprinkled on mint tea and used in religious ceremonies as an ode to paradise.

The annual ceremony that usually takes place in homes across the North African kingdom has attracted international attention. It is now being showcased at the Zahria Festival in Marrakech.

According to the Festival Founder Jaafar el-Kenousi, between 400 and 600 people gathered over the weekend for the festival hosted by Al Muniya Association, celebrating the blooms and savouring the rainfall that is infrequent the rest of the year.

“It’s an old tradition, and it was necessary to give it new life after it was a little bit forgotten in the 1980s and 1990s,” says el-Kenousi.

Orange blossoms bloom throughout Morocco but are especially common in Marrakech, home to a particularly fragrant sour and bitter orange tree.

As Morocco’s status grows as a tourist destination, the orange blossom fragrance is increasingly known among visitors and professional perfumers.

“The distillation has been recognized as part of Morocco’s heritage by the government and the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The event now seeks recognition from UNESCO,” says el-Kenousi.

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