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Mimouna celebration at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv
Official nameמימונה
Observed byMaghrebi Jews
SignificanceCelebration of the end of lekhem prohibition and of Passover
Begins21st day of Nisan in Israel; 22nd day of Nisan outside of Israel
Ends22nd day of Nisan in Israel; 23rd day of Nisan outside of Israel
Date21 Nisan, 22 Nisan, 23 Nisan
2022 dateSunset, 23 April –
nightfall, 24 April
2023 dateSunset, 13 April –
nightfall, 14 April
2024 dateSunset, 30 April –
nightfall, 1 May
2025 dateSunset, 20 April –
nightfall, 21 April
Related toPassover

Mimouna (Hebrew: מימונה, Arabic: ميمونة, Berber: Mimuna, ⵎⵉⵎⵓⵏⴰ) is a traditional Maghrebi Jewish[1][2] celebration dinner, that currently takes place in Morocco,[3] Israel,[4] France,[5] Canada,[6] and other places around the world where Jews of Maghrebi heritage live. It is held the day after Passover, marking the return to eating hametz (leavened bread, etc.), which is forbidden throughout the week of Passover.

Mofletta and other holiday confections


Though the practice only began to be recorded in the middle of the 18th century,[7][unreliable source?] its derivation and etymology are ancient. Possible derivations for the name Mimouna are: "Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef" (father of the Rambam Maimonides). Thus, the Mimouna might mark the date of his birth or death;[7][8] the Hebrew word "emuna" (Hebrew: אמונה, meaning "faith") or "ma’amin" (Hebrew: מאמין, meaning "I believe");[7][8] the Arabic word for "wealth" or "good luck"[8] as on this day, according to midrash, the gold and jewelry of the drowned Egyptians washed up on the shore of the Red Sea and enriched the Israelites.[7] Mimouna is associated with "faith" and "belief" in immediate prosperity, as seen in its customs of matchmaking, and well-wishes for successful childbearing;[9] manna, which was the food God provided following the Exodus, and during the subsequent wandering in the desert.[7] The name of a Berber goddess is also a possible etymology.[10]

Mimouna celebrates belief in both the past Jewish redemption from the Egyptians and the future Messianic redemption: "In Nisan (the month in which Passover falls), the Jews were redeemed and in Nisan they will be redeemed in the future. When Passover ends and the Jews are still not redeemed, the Moroccan Jews do not lose their faith; as the Sages said: 'Even if he tarries, I will expect him every day.'"[11]

It was at the crossing of the Reed Sea on the final day of Passover that the entire nation witnessed the awesome power and might of God which was an experience that strengthened their faith.[7] "And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD, and in His servant Moses." – Exodus 14:31

Holiday customs[edit]

United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro at a Mimouna celebration in Ashkelon, 2013

In Morocco, on the afternoon of the last day of Passover, Jewish families prepare flour, honey, milk, and butter to be used to prepare post-Passover chametz celebration dinners.[12] Historically, Jewish congregations would walk to an orchard in order to recite Birkat Ha'Ilanot, and following the conclusion of Passover, would recite passages from the Book of Proverbs and the Mishna.[7]

The celebration begins after nightfall on the last day of Passover. In many communities, non-Jewish neighbors sell chametz back to Jewish families as a beginning of the celebration. Moroccan and Algerian Jews throw open their homes to visitors, after setting out a lavish spread of traditional holiday cakes and sweetmeats. One of the holiday favorites is mofletta.[11] The table is also laid with various symbols of luck and fertility, with an emphasis on the number "5," such as five pieces of gold jewelry or five beans arranged on a leaf of pastry. The repetition of the number five references the five-fingered hamsa amulet common in both Jewish and Muslim North African and Middle Eastern communities from pre-modern times.[13] Typically all those in attendance at a Mimouna celebration are sprinkled with a mint sprig or other green dipped in milk, symbolizing good fortune and new beginnings.[14]

Early in the day of the Mimouna, families go to the sea, splash water on their face, and walk barefoot in the water, to replay the scene of the miraculous crossing of the Reed Sea, which is held to have taken place on the last day of Passover.[15]

In Israel, the Mimouna has become a popular annual happening featuring outdoor parties, picnics, BBQs, and politics: A central celebration in Jerusalem’s Sacher Park draws about 100,000 people, usually including the president and prime minister. Israeli law now requires employers to agree to grant an employee unpaid leave for Mimouna if asked.[16] One source estimated that in 2012 nearly two million people in Israel participated in Mimouna festivities.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Haim Yacobi; Mansour Nasasra (1 July 2019). Routledge Handbook on Middle East Cities. Taylor & Francis. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-317-23118-9.
  2. ^ André Levy. “Happy Mimouna: On a Mechanism for Marginalizing Moroccan Israelis.” Israel Studies, vol. 23, no. 2, 2018, pp. 1–24. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/10.2979/israelstudies.23.2.01.
  3. ^ "Post-Passover Feast: How Moroccan Jews Celebrate 'Mimouna'".
  4. ^ "What is a Mimouna and why are Israel's MKS wearing fezes?". The Jerusalem Post | Jpost.com.
  5. ^ "La mimouna, fête juive typiquement marocaine, adoptée en Israël". Franceinfo (in French). 2018-04-06. Retrieved 2021-04-12.
  6. ^ "Canada : La communauté juive marocaine célèbre la Mimouna à Toronto". 29 April 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Enkin, Ari (April 13, 2014). "Mimouna: A Moroccan Jewish Celebration". unitedwithisrael.org. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Jewish Agency (June 26, 2005). "Mimouna". jewishagency.org. The Jewish Agency for Israel. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2015.
  9. ^ Sharaby, Rachel. "Political Activism and Ethnic Revival of a Cultural Symbol." Ethnicities 11.4. 495
  10. ^ Lieber, Ron (2018-04-02). "Celebrating Mimouna and Its Dose of Post-Passover Carbs". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-08-08.
  11. ^ a b Jewish Agency (May 11, 2015). "Mimouna Customs". jewishagency.org. The Jewish Agency for Israel. Archived from the original on September 25, 2015. Retrieved September 23, 2015. Formerly, this wikipedia article referred to a currently unavailable page that might have been this source's predecessor:"Mimouna in Israel". Jewish Agency for Israel. 2011. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  12. ^ Eating Jewish: Mufleta
  13. ^ Bin-Nun, Yigal (8 April 2007). "Lady Luck: In Morocco, Mimouna was a feast day designed to appease a local she-devil, and contained no religious components. In Israel, however, its pagan origins have been ignored". Haaretz. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  14. ^ Waskow, Arthur (1990). Seasons of Our Joy: A Modern Guide to the Jewish Holidays. Boston: Beacon. pp. 133–164. ISBN 978-0807036112.
  15. ^ a b "Une fête peu connue en Europe, La Mimouna". Harissa.com (in French). 25 March 2013. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
  16. ^ Jeffay, Nathan (12 April 2012). "Mimouna Revelries Mark End of Passover". The Jewish Daily Forward. Retrieved 22 July 2013.

External links[edit]