Ashoura Drums

These drums, (Taàrijas) are made for the children of Morocco to celebrate the feast of Ashura (Ashoura) which falls on the tenth day of Muharram, one month after Eid al Adha.

In Shia Iran, the day is marked by mourning and self flagellation, since it is the anniversary of the murder of the Prophet Muhammed's grandsons. But in Morocco, it is an occasion of joy and feasting. Many cultural influences are believed to have combined to bring this about. People visit each other and enjoy sweetmeats and nuts while the children are given these small drums to beat. 

It's a general holiday. In Chefchaouen, which is a religious centre in Morocco, many Moroccan tourists visit that week. They go to the spring at the top of the town to enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice and collect some of the water. The town is full of tourist trivia. The girls dress up in costumes of the Rif. I saw two peacocks and an ostrich being paraded for people to have their photos taken. Poor birds.

Meanwhile, I am incredibly grateful to Mjido for the gift of these small drums which are for William. I wonder if  his parents will appreciate them equally. They are rather resonant.

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