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Mawsim or moussem (Arabic: موسم), waada, or raqb, is the term used in the Maghreb to designate an annual regional festival in which worshippers usually combine the religious celebration of local Marabouts or Sufi Tariqas, with various festivities and commercial activities. These are very popular events, often attended by people from very distant places.[1][2]


Mawsim, moussem

Mawsim is an Arabic word whose first meaning is 'season'.[citation needed]


The origin of the name waada comes from the word waad meaning "meeting" and "gathering".[3]


The name raqb indicates[how?] the pedestrian and equestrian procession of the murids (novices) from all sides towards the place of the customary or ritual festival.[3]

Religious and secular origin

Fantasia in Algeria

The mawsim festivities are for the most part cultural events linked to the harvest, to Muslim saints or to nature, so these local festivals are mainly religious but also secular.[4] The Palestinian mawsim at Nabi Musa took place in spring, a season used for popular holidays since pagan antiquity.[5]

The mawsim is an originally religiously motivated festival pilgrimage in the Maghreb in honor of a saint (sheikh, sidi or Moulay.[6]

Religious and social practices

Mausoleum of Sidi Lakhdar Ben Khlouf [ar]

In the Berber areas of the Maghreb, almost every village had[clarification needed] its saint or marabout and a small domed tomb or mausoleum (qubba) of the same name.[7] This feast or ritual of the marabout is celebrated once a year and worshipers come to it from places far away.[8] Some marabout buildings are still being maintained and whitewashed with white paint every few years.[9]

Many do not really have a link to a saint or founder, but are annual regional meetings designated for a social or economic purpose.[10]

The religious practices relating to the mawsim are based on the tilawa (ritual recitation) of the complete and integral sixty hizbs of the Quran, the Sufi salka.[11]

A collective recitation of the al-Burda poem adorns the festivities to praise Prophet Muhammad before the start of the Mawlid (Prophet's birthday) celebration and before visiting his tomb in the Prophet's Mosque in Medina.[12]

Collective catering around large couscous dishes is a central quality of these festivities in order to socialize people attending the mawsim around traditional culinary foods in addition to the recitation of the Quran, Dhikr and Qasidas.[13]

The annual gathering of the descendants of the marabout in this festivity is an opportunity to strengthen family and tribal ties between these cousins, and also to establish family alliances with other siblings and tribes.[14]

These religious, sociological and gastronomic aspects make it possible to weld the cultural and existential breaches of patriarchal societies and to preserve the intangible heritage of populations, especially rural ones.[15]

Group salah (prayer), collective tarteel, team tasting of dishes and couscous, choral singing of Al-Burda, appreciation of the artistic performances of fantasia, humming of poems and qasidas, as well as other activities, make mawsim a proven factor of social cohesion and individual appeasement.[16]


The religiously related festivals are often based on the Islamic calendar and thus take place in different hijri months each year changing.[17]

Equestrian games; prominent moussems

Fantasia in Algeria

The mawsim is sometimes accompanied by the equestrian games called fantasias and other cultural peculiarities.[18] Mawsims or fantasias include equestrian games as a tradition of regional pilgrimages linked to one another in Islamic times.[19]

Many of the Algerian fantasia troupes perform horse exhibition shown several times a year in different cultural events or mawsims, such as the Celebration of Sidi Ahmed al-Majzoob in Naâma, the Horse celebration in Tiaret, or the Celebration of Sidi Yahia Bensafia in Tlemcen.[20]

The most important Algerian moussem of the territory is that of the oasis of Béni Abbès in the region of Bechar.[21]

Tan-Tan Moussem is a traditional annual gathering of Berber[22] tribes from southern Morocco and the wider Northwest Africa in the southwest Moroccan town of Tan-Tan.[23] In culture, a moussem is "a type of annual fair with economic, cultural and social functions."[23]

See also


  1. ^ "سكان وهران يتحسرون على وعدة سيدي الحسني". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  2. ^ "وعدة سيدي‮ ‬محمد بن‮ ‬يحيى بتيسمسيلت‮ ‬". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  3. ^ a b "وعدة سيدي أحمد المجدوب ببلدية عسلة تستقطب آلاف الزوار". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  4. ^ "زيارة‮ سيدي‮ عبد‮ الرحمن‮ تقليد‮ شعبي‮ يثير‮ الجدل". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  5. ^ Cohen, Amnon (2006). "Al-Nabi Musa – an Ottoman festival (mawsim) resurrected?". In David J. Wasserstein; Ami Ayalon (eds.). Mamluks and Ottomans: Studies in Honour of Michael Winter. Routledge Studies in Middle Eastern History. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. pp. 34–44 [38]. ISBN 041537278X. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  6. ^ "ضريح سيدي عبد الرحمن". www.alaraby.co.uk/ (in Arabic).
  7. ^ "وعدة سيدي الحسني.. تظاهرة لم يبق منها إلا الاسم". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  8. ^ "أهل فليتة يحتفلون بوعدة الولي الصالح سيدي محمد بن عودة". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  9. ^ "إحياء وعدة الولي الصالح سيدي سحنون التقليدية ببلدية أولاد بن عبد القادر". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  10. ^ الحليم, ❊ل عبد. "إحياء وعدة الولـي الصالح "سيدي أمحمد الواسيني"". المساء (in Arabic).
  11. ^ "اختتام وعدة " سيدي الحسني " بوهران". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  12. ^ "تيميمون تتزيّن للإحتفال بأسبوع المولد النبوي". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  13. ^ "غليزان توافد كبير على وعدة سيدي حراث بزمورة". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  14. ^ "وعدة سيدي عابد بتيسمسيلت تستقطب الزوار". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  15. ^ "منطقة وتقاليد وعدة سيدي أحمد المجذوب بالنعامة". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  16. ^ "المشوي، الكسكسي والرفيس لفتح الشهية". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  17. ^ "الزوار "يحجّون" إلى ضريح سيدي عبد الرحمن". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  18. ^ "وعدة حناشة .. إطعام وصدقات على أمل موسم فلاحي ناجح". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  19. ^ ""‬وعدة‮" سيدي‮ محمد والشيخ شموع،‮ كسكسي‮ وأشياء أخرى". جزايرس (in Arabic).
  20. ^ "غليزان: إقبال كبير للزوار على وعدة الولي الصالح سيدي بوعبد الله" (in Arabic). Aps.dz. Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  21. ^ "الوعدة السنوية لسيدي محمد السايح بغرداية تجمع شمل الجزائريين". الشروق أونلاين (in Arabic). July 1, 2019.
  22. ^ "Tan Tan Moussem: An Amazing Cultural Celebration". www.morocco.com (in Arabic). Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  23. ^ a b "Moussem of Tan-Tan - intangible heritage - Culture Sector - UNESCO". www.unesco.org. Retrieved 2016-03-21.