Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/165

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The Great Feast in Morocco. 137

formed. Among the mountaineers of Andjra, where the schoolboys go about collecting food and money, not before this feast but on the day of 'dsur or 'astir a, (the lOth of Moharram), and two days previously, the people distribute alms among the poor on the day of 'Arafa ; and among the country folk in various parts of Morocco it is the custom on the morning of the first day of the feast, which is called nhdr l-'id^ to give charity consisting of figs or some kind of bread to children from other households or poor people. In some cases, at least, this is done on behalf of deceased members of the family; the Ulad Bu-'Aziz therefore call these alms saddkt l-miifa. It is the universal rule in country places that the men of the village on that morning take their breakfast in common, either in the village mosque or at the sanctuary of some deceased saint or in a large tent, exchanging food with one another ; while the women not infrequently are sharing food with other women from neighbouring households, or breakfast all together in a tent apart from the men. Among the Ulad Bu-'Aziz the men, after finishing the meal, ask God to grant them a good year and a blessed feast, to have mercy on their parents and the Sultan, and to bestow peace upon the Prophet. Among the Ait Waryagal the men have a common meal in the village mosque not only on the first morning of the feast but on the previous morning as well ; and on this occasion the women take their breakfast in the cemetery of the village.

No religious rite is looked upon as more purifying or sanctifying than prayer. There are persons who get up to pray in the middle of the night preceding the first day of the feast. But the chief praying ceremony takes place on the morning of that day at a place called le-visdlla^ " the place of prayer." This place may be at the sanctuary of a saint or outside the village mosque ; but the nisdlla

  • Some of the Braber, the Imarmusen, call this day biiisWien, "owner of

skins," {isUhen, sing. a:leh).