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Rose Festival Morocco & the Valley of Roses

Something magical happens in the tiny town of Kelaat M’gouna (a city in the south of Morocco), which is situated in the Dades Valley. Dades Valley is locally known as the ‘valley of roses and every year, it bursts into bloom with thousands of soft pink, fragrant roses.

For centuries, roses have played an important part in sacred ceremonies, joyous Moroccan weddings, formal occasions, and romantic offerings. Today, roses are harvested across Morocco and then turned into rose oil and water. It’s used in everyday life or sold across the world.

To celebrate this wonderful harvest and the benefits of these blossoms, the cheerful Rose Festival in Morocco takes place.

Whether you’re joining in on the festivities, or simply planning a visit around the Valley of Roses, you’ll find all the need to know below. As well as what you can get up to in the surrounding area.

Valley of the Roses Festival in Morocco

Each year, El Kelaâ M’Gouna hosts the roses festival as a way of celebrating the wondrous harvest of these blossoms. Around 20,000 people gather around this quaint and charming town to soak up all the festival’s joy and excitement.

The festival starts with thousands of roses being blanketed across the tanned street. This transforms them into roads bursting with tones of soft pinks. It doesn’t just leave the streets looking fantastic; it also fills the air with the delightful smell of roses.

Overall, the festival of roses is a time for folk dancing, singing, celebrating, and feasting. Markets and souks display their finest products, and you’ll be tempted to spend the entire day sampling new exotic foods and fresh rose produce, like jams and waters.

If there were any day to visit the 3-day festival, it would be on the last day. This is when dozens of beautiful women come dressed in their most impressive kaftans and decorate themselves with roses. They’re all hoping to win the title of ‘Miss Rose’.

When Does the Rose Festival Start?

The rose festival dates vary each year. This is because it depends on when the roses bloom and when they’re ready to be harvested. Usually, the festival happens within the first few weeks of May.

It starts on a Friday and will end on Sunday. While tourists are more than welcome to attend the festival, it should be noted that it is mainly frequented by local farmers and villagers.

In preparation for the festival, everybody has a job to do. Days before the event, locals work hard to place the petals on rooftops to dry them out in the sun, pack canvases with dried petals and make potpourri.


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