Morocco: Nafar, the Special Ramadan Town Crier, Serves Annually During the Holy Month

A Nafar, also known as a town crier, is a seasonal vocation that appears each year during Ramadan.The Nafar works for one month and then ceases after Eid al-Fitr is declared.

The Nafar is a man who walks the paths and alleys in the early hours of the morning, beginning around three a.m.

The Nafar plays a specific sound on a long trumpet-like instrument to call people up for the suhoor meal before Muslims begin their day of fasting in Ramadan.

Nafar is the Moroccan method of referring to someone who does this employment, but the name of the profession varies by country. It has the same name as the instrument in Moroccan Arabic.

This craft, which was formerly a popular Ramadan practice, has become increasingly rare as a result of technological advancements and new metropolitan locations.

“This (Nafar) is now only found in the old city. The majority of posh districts refuse to admit the presence of the Nafar since they claim to have a phone and an alarm clock,” remarked Naoufal Boukhriss, a Nafar in Rabat.

Boukhriss typically wears a specific set of traditional clothing before making his rounds in the old city as a symbol of tradition. He wears a long shirt or “Jallaba,” a headdress or “Tarbouch,” leather slippers called “Belgha,” and white stockings.

While strolling through the alleys, Boukhriss plays a unique song that alerts people to the hour of suhoor, which differs from the ones they play within the mosque.

Boukhriss sees this work as a reward from God. Residents reciprocate by giving him food, candy, or a portion of their money.

Written by PH

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