But first, what exactly IS Mimouna? While I could go into varied and perhaps more esoteric explanations regarding the origins of Mimouna, very simply it is a Moroccan or Jewish tradition of North Africa, a celebration that begins as Pesach ends. The tradition celebrates the freedom we won coming out of Egypt, the heavens are open for our prayers, and blessings for success and prosperity, for courtship and marriages are kept in mind this night. Every one is dressed in his or her finest, tables are set with fine china and linen, there is a festive spirit, music and laughter. The hosts normally dress in traditional Moroccan clothing and many men wear the Red Fez of Fez, Morocco.
The culinary star of the evening is the mufleta - a crepe, spread and dripping deliciously with butter and honey - the first chametz after Pesach. Many other traditional sweets and delicacies, mint tea and fruit fill the table as well.
This year, ironically, I was going to skip trying to go. Weary of never finding a celebration to go to, I said, maybe next year !! But the heavens were smiling on me and as I sat at my computer I heard the unmistakable sounds of Mimouna in my neighborhood. I even wrote about it on Facebook. Finally I decided to go out and walk down the street, to get a closer look. I knew that here in Israel, I COULD just go knock on the door and most likely be welcomed . What I didn't know was that the tradition of Mimouna is to leave your door open and welcome guests without their needing invitations.
That's Mimouna... a very sweet tradition, with sweet food and sweet people. I am so glad I finally had the privilege of joining in, meeting my neighbors in such a special way.
I share these pictures with the permission of the family, even knowing it was my first attempt at photographing with my cell phone ! ha! They look more like impressionist paintings than photos but I hope you enjoy them. I was even given permission to photograph the women patting out and cooking the mufleta crepes in the kitchen.