12th Edition of Sufi Festival Returns To Fes, Celebrating Humanism and Spirituality  

Fes Sufi Festival, Whirling Dervishes

There are many festivals celebrated during the month of October in Morocco. Both the annual Sufi Festival and the Erfoud Festival of dates are two of the highlights travelers can anticipate attending annually. From October 19-26, 2019, the Fes Festival of Sufi Culture will take place in the UNESCO World Heritage city of Fes. The theme of this year’s festival is “humanism and spirituality” conceived by the president, Faouzi Skali. Faouzi Skali is an anthropologist, ethnologist,  philosopher and the founder of the Fes Festival of Sacred World Music.

Skali comments on the Sufi Festival, “this theme may seem more surprising as humanism dates back to the 14th century and the movement is part of debates as old as the topics of West and East, faith and reason, religion and politics, and freedom and transcendence.”

The 2019 Sufi Festival aims for us “understand the art of living.”  The subject matter will be explored through a series of cultural workshops, round table discussions, and Sufi performances.

The Sufi Festival will begin with the opening night at the Salle de Prefecture in the Fes medina. The evening continues with a guarantee to be spectacular, performances by a variety of international singers: French-Moroccan Francoise Atlan, Spanish flamenco singer Curro Pinana, Moroccan singer Marouane Hajji, and the Moroccan ensemble Al Shushtari. Moroccan Sufi singer Mostafa Amri will polish off the night ending in a magical repertoire. Then on Day 2 of the Sufi Festival, the roundtable themed conference of discussion will lead at the Merdesa Bouananiya. A private viewing that features artist Sami-Ali will be held along with a musical and performance led by the poetic Amal Ayouch.  Days 3-9 of the Suf Festival promise to hold transcendental cultural and Sufi experiences for all.

Sufism is deeply rooted in the mystical Moroccan culture. It is is a kind of spiritual work that offers people self-reflection by connecting with God. The ancient practice encourages freedom from material possessions and a connection with nature. This can be achieved through meditation and prayer. Historically, Sufism can be traced to the 15th century. The Sufis arrived in Morocco from the east and spread their message to farmers. When a Sufi follower died, he was named a saint and his shrine was blessed with Baraka (good luck).

The full program of the Fes Sufi Festival can be discovered on the Festival Culture Sufi website. Tickets are available for purchase online.