Mimouna, a celebration that marks the end of Passover, is celebrated in Moroccan and North African Jewish communities. Mimouna includes themes of renewal, joy, coexistence, and inviting in neighbors. Thank you to Ziva Trau, HaMaqom Jewish Experience Educator, who shared her family Mimouna traditions, featuring special foods, music, and other rituals.
Mimouna is a Moroccan Jewish celebration dinner held the day after Passover, marking the return to eating chametz and the beginning of spring.
An important theme of Mimouna is the close relationships between Jews and Muslims in Morocco. In many places it was the Muslims who brought wheat, milk, and butter to the Jews at the end of the holiday so they could make food.
Jews in Morocco were viewed as ones who blessed the land for the entire year, and the Muslims saw the holiday as an opportunity to pay back their Jewish neighbors. In the city of Azemmour, Muslims allowed the Jews to use their fields and gardens for the entire day, out of a belief that the Jews would bless the land and leave it fertile.
Possible Origins of Mimouna:
- The date of birth or death of “Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef” (father of the Rambam Maimonides)
- Derived from the Arabic word for wealth and good fortune (literally “protected by God,” ma’amoun)
- Derived from the Hebrew word for faith or belief, emunah
The Rituals of Mimouna:
Welcoming in Guests: No one is “invited” to Mimouna. People open their doors and neighbors are welcomed in. This theme of welcoming in guests is central to the holiday.
Traditional foods: There are several sweet treats that are traditionally served during Mimouna: Moufleta, a fried honey drenched pancake is the most common.
Liturgical Poems about Mimouna: