In brief

Amazigh New Year becomes Morocco’s new bank holiday

Recognition was long-standing demand of Amazigh movement

Amazigh flag.
Amazigh flag. Author: David Forniès
The Amazigh New Year will be a bank holiday in Morocco from 2024, after King Mohammed VI so decided on Wednesday 3 May. The change comes after the Amazigh movement has long advocated for it. Morocco becomes the second country to recognise the Amazigh New Year as a public holiday, after Algeria did so in 2017.

According to a statement from the Moroccan royal cabinet, the inclusion of the holiday in the official calendar comes as part of recognition of Amazighness as an “essential component of Moroccan identity.”

The feast, called Yennayer or Innayr in Amazigh, is celebrated around 13 January. It corresponds to the first day of the Julian calendar, the same calendar used in Europe until Pope Gregory XIII's reform. Yennayer —a name derived from the Latin name for January, ianuarius— is one of the most significant celebrations of the Amazigh people.