The Amazigh 2971 New Year celebration, “Id Innayer” or “Yennayer”, is both a festive holiday and an identity claim in the countries of the Maghreb.
The celebration of the Berber New Year is the essence of the intangible heritage of Amazigh society and is part of the agrarian calendar rituals that organize the productive practice of the individual and his relationship to the sacred, argued Aboulkacem El Khatir, a researcher at the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture (IRCAM) in Rabat.
Celebrating the transition from one season to another, the celebration of this event is historically ancient and geographically widespread, not only in Morocco, but in all North African countries under various names, such as “Id Ugggas”, “Id Innayer” or “Haguza”.
In recent years, the Moroccan Amazighs have been calling for Yennayer to be a public holiday, just like 1 January and 1st Moharram.
Article 5 of the Moroccan Constitution of 2011 provides that the Amazigh, along with Arabic, becomes an official language of the State, as a common heritage to all Moroccans. The law was passed on 10 June 2019.
Read also: Morocco: adoption of a draft decree on the official character of the Amazigh language
According to some accounts, the celebration of the Amazigh year commemorates the victory of the Ämazighs under the leadership of Shashnaq, one of the most important and powerful generals of Pharaonic Egypt, against Ramses III in 945 BC.
This victory was taken as the starting point of the Amazigh calendar in reference to the accession to the throne of Shashnaq, who founded the 22nd Pharaonic Dynasty.
Read also: Algeria: a statue of pharaoh raises passions for the Berber New Year
Special dishes, songs, dances and equestrian parades are on the menu of the Berber New Year festivities every year.
This year there are few demonstrations due to the health crisis.