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Marrakech’s Jemaa el-Fnaa market square home to snake charmers, fortune tellers

The history of Marrakech’s snake charming market square, Jemaa el-Fnaa

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Culture and tourism describe Morocco’s ancient city of Marrakesh which has evolved to become a powerhouse for visitors touring North Africa. 

Marrakesh is known for many things but little is told about Jemaa el-Fnaa market square in the Medina Quarter. It is not only Marrakesh’s gem but Morocco’s too, due to its diversity and welcoming nature.

Jemaa in Arabic means “congregation” and it has lived true to its name as hundreds flock this market square on a daily basis. The square has fresh juice shops lining up as well as water kiosks and stores dealing in the sale of traditional tanned leather bags. Interestingly, Barbary apes are made to perform at the Jemaa el-Fnaa market square. Snake charmers are not left behind either; they give the most riveting performances with these serpents. Worth to note is that serpentines and Barbary monkeys are protected species in Morocco but they are used to entertain crowds of people every day at the market square.

Fortune-tellers and storytellers invite huge crowds at the square on a daily basis.

In the afternoon, snake charmers exit the square to make room for Chleuh dancers (just boys), magicians and herbalists. In the evening, food vendors set their portable food kiosks with local cuisine but there are prestigious hotels just at the other end of the market where tourists can dine and wine on international or local cuisine.

Read more:

Morocco’s La Mamounia Palace in Marrakech gives you a king’s treatment

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