Sanctuary of Sidi Abdallah Ben Hassoun

If your trip coincides with the dates, let yourself be dazzled by the lantern procession.

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Sanctuary of Sidi Abdallah Ben Hassoun

The patron of Salé

Also situated on the other side of the River Bou Regreg is the Sanctuary or Marabout of Sidi Abdallah Ben Hassoun, the patron of Salé. It is a funerary complex – which in recent years has been extended in order to expand the walls of the local cemetery – where the remains of this orator and saint have lay at rest within surroundings of delicate architecture since the nineteenth century. The most novel aspect of this sanctuary is the Wax Lantern Festival or “Mawkib Esh Shomouaa”, which is celebrated each year on the eve of Mouloud (the birth date of the Prophet Mohammed) and dates back to the time of pirate occupation in Salé, when it was customary to go to the sanctuary and ask that the patron grant seamen a safe return. The tradition consists of carrying large enkindled lanterns on a night procession to the cemetery, a site where only Muslims may enter. A spectacle of light that is well worth seeing!

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