Feast of dates Erfoud
Every year, in October or November, this meeting is an important date for farmers in the phoeniculture sector.
It is also a privileged space to develop the various facets of oasis agriculture, its assets, but also its difficulties, because oases are today threatened by climate change and the imperatives of water management, rural exodus, overexploitation of soils and overgrazing.
Originally, the Guetna
Until 2010, at the end of the date harvest period, a great festival celebrated this fruit, symbol of the oases. Folkloric dance performances were held throughout the city, various events such as the camel race along the dunes of Merzouga or the election of the queen of dates, like that of roses at this festival in Kelaat M’Gouna, closed the festivities.
Since 2010 this festival which was called “guetna”, a term certainly coming from Mauritania, has become professionalized to become the “international exhibition of dates of Morocco“. There remain, certainly, some animations, but exit races of dromedaries and election of the queen.
International Exhibition of Dates of Morocco
The fair is held at the exit of Erfoud, in the direction of Rissani, in large tents arranged for the occasion. Exhibitors, including some from Arab countries, present the fruit of their Phoenix dactylifera culture, the scientific name for date palm. Dozens of different qualities are tasted there, but for some the queen of the region is the “mejhoul”, fleshy and sweet variety, typical of Morocco.
On the edge of the lounge stands the reproduction of the oasisian environment, still under a large tent of about 2 500 m². A small artificial wadi criss-crosses the space tracing the visit route. Many panels explaining the ecosystem, the life of an oasis, culture, natural resources… very informative information.
Meanwhile, at the souk
During this period it is good to stroll in the souk, which for the occasion is richly stocked with different species of dates whose producers offer you to taste the best fruits gorged with sun.
The palm grove of Tafilalet
In addition to its many old ksour, this immense and green palm grove would count in the 800 000 date palms, providing several tens of varieties of this oblong and unctuous fruit which, fed of the summer sun, offers us this melting and sweet sweet sweetness.