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Fragrance of Morocco: the annual flower festival and Valley of the Roses

Morocco is home to some of the world’s best-kept secrets when it comes to natural beauty and fragrance. Argan oil, for example, is an incredibly versatile and effective ingredient that has been used for centuries in Morocco for everything from skin care to cooking.

And the roses that grow in this region are renowned for their intoxicating scent.

The small community of Kelaat M'gouna, which is located in the Dades Valley, experiences something extraordinary. Dades Valley, called the "valley of roses" locally, blooms profusely with hundreds of delicately pink roses each year.

The cultural significance of roses in Moroccan culture

Roses have played a significant role in formal occasions, joyful Moroccan weddings, spiritual rituals, and love offerings for ages. Moroccan roses are being picked for rose oil and rose water. It is either sold internationally or used in daily life.

Morocco hosts the joyous Rose Festival to commemorate this great crop and the advantages of these petals. You may find all the information you need below, whether you're participating in the celebrations or planning a trip to the Valley of Roses. Along with what you can do in the neighborhood.

The Valley of the Roses festival in El Kelaâ M'Gouna, Morocco

The rose festival is held annually in El Kelaâ M'Gouna to commemorate the amazing harvest of these blossoms. An estimated 20,000 people congregate in and around this tiny and endearing village to take in the fun and excitement of the festival.

Thousands of roses are spread out across the street to start the festivities. They become highways brimming with beautiful pink hues as a result. Not only does it leave the streets immaculate, but it also exudes the captivating scent of roses.

Generally speaking, the festival of roses is a time for celebration, feasting, folk dancing, and singing. You'll be tempted to spend the entire day sampling new, unusual delicacies and fresh rose to produce, such as jams and drinks, as markets and souks showcase their best goods.

The last day would be the best if there were a day to attend the three-day event. Numerous stunning women arrive at this time decked out in their most stunning kaftans and adorned with roses. They are all competing to be crowned "Miss Rose."

When is Morocco's annual festival of roses?

The dates of the rose festival change each year. It depends on when the roses are in bloom and when they are prepared for harvest. The festival typically takes place in the first few weeks of May.

It will begin on a Friday and end on a Sunday. Although it should be highlighted that visitors are more than welcome to the celebration, it is attended mainly by locals and local farmers.

Everyone has a task to complete to prepare for the celebration. Locals put in a lot of effort to pack canvases with dried petals days before the festival, dry the petals out in the sun on rooftops, and make potpourri.

World-famous roses of the roses of the Asif M’Goun River

The origin of roses in this distant region of Morocco, located high in the Atlas Mountains and six hours' travel southeast of Marrakesh, is unknown. Rosa damascena, the Damask rose, is a species that thrives here and is native to ancient Syria. It has been prized for generations for its potent fragrance. It is said that a Berber merchant from Damascus brought them here years ago.

Regardless of how they got there, the M'Goun Valley, or Vallée des Roses as it is known in Morocco, has gained notoriety for its flower displays. The valley annually yields between 3000 and 4000 tonnes of wild roses during April and mid-May. They grow out of hedgerows, bloom along stone walls, and tangle the lines separating farmers' fields. Women manually harvest the roses each morning before dawn and sell them to co-operatives around the valley. Some are purchased by regional distilleries that use them to create rosewater, soaps, and potpourri. Still, most are bought by prestigious French perfume companies that place a premium on M'Goun roses.

A single litre of rose oil requires almost four tonnes of fresh petals, or 1.6 million flowers, to produce, but the rewards are clear, given that each litre sells for about €12,000 (£10,000). However, the M'Goun Valley must find ways to stand out from other rose-growing regions, particularly those in Turkey and Bulgaria, where the Festival des Roses comes in.

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