King Mohammed VI has instructed to add the Amazigh New Year to the list of national holidays in Morocco.
In a statement from the Royal Court, Morocco’s King Mohammed VI has approved the celebration of the Amazigh New Year as an official national holiday.
Instructions were sent to the Head of the Government Aziz Akhannouch, to take the necessary steps to implement the decision.
This move reflects the king’s “commitment to the Berber language, a fundamental part of Morocco’s authentic identity and a shared asset for all Moroccans,” the statement explains.
The constitutional recognition of the Amazigh language as an official language of the country, alongside Arabic, further underscores the significance of this decision. It’s a historic step that’s expected to deepen national unity and further promote the country’s diverse cultural heritage.
Activists in Morocco have long been campaigning for the Amazigh New Year to be recognized as an official national holiday. The Amazigh New Year, also known as “Yennayer,” marks the beginning of the agricultural calendar and is celebrated by the country’s Amazigh people, who make up around 40% of the population.
While the Moroccan government recognized the holiday, it was not an official national holiday with paid time off work. Activists argued that granting the holiday official status would be a significant step towards recognizing and celebrating the country’s diverse cultural heritage.