The Green March Holiday
Author: Taoufik I.
Instructor: Veronica Stratulat
Photo Credit: Vincent van Zeijst, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Com
Article ID: 2481 [Homeland- Spring 2022]
Our childhood was painted by the colors of the four seasons. Each season had its own set of leisure activities. After enjoying the summer, it was time to come back to school. Starting a new year at school was most of the time exciting yet we already missed the holidays. The first one was in occasion of ‘The Green March’ but it was rather known as the olives’ holiday.
In Morocco, for one month before and after November 6, all medias are talking only about ‘The Green March’. It is a large peaceful march that left Morocco on November 6, 1975 towards the Moroccan Sahara occupied by Spain, launched by King Hassan II in order to recover it. It mobilized around 350,000 Moroccan civilian volunteers. Since then, it has become a national holiday. The non-stop broadcast of videos showing crowds advancing through the desert and the songs full of enthusiasm will never leave our memories.
In my region, this holiday was the most loved vacation for both adults and kids because it coincides with the olive picking season. This precious harvest makes everyone busy and happy. For families, it was a great opportunity to benefit from the help of their children. For children, they could make good money by collecting and selling the olives that adults had left behind whether they were hidden under the grass or very high in the trees.
In the evening, the traces of hard work were visible on everyone. Our hands were sore and calloused, scratches were everywhere on the body and sometimes there were even serious injuries because of a fall from a tree. Despite all this we were happy with our pockets full of coins. For our parents, the oil extracted from olives was a great comfort and an insurance that they were going to face the cold winter.