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Live the traditional Festival of the Sahara in Douz, Tunisia

Live the traditional Festival of the Sahara in Douz, Tunisia

Sand and sparks flying around you as you’re being part of a camel caravan that converges on the beautiful town of Douz, which is located in Tunisia, where people celebrate the so-called “Festival of the Sahara”. This event has, somehow, remained relatively unknown outside of Tunisia, but this will be one of the best festivals that you have attended to. Festival of the Sahara offers poetry competitions, tribal plays, traditional music, and camel racing.

Sparkling endless dunes of the Great Eastern Erg and the ocean-sized flat of Chott El Jerid seem to float around Douz. For the Bedouin life has always been a balanced act between surviving in the desert and the exuberance of the oasis, you can see a perfect representation of this relationship in the H’Niche Stadium.

Crowds will be filling the whole stadium, and of course, you will be part of them. The festival comes to life once you hear the sound of the drums and the incredible sounds of the flute-like zoukara. Every single event unfolds in the Sahara dunes as a stage. One of the many events that it’s also worth seeing is the “hair dance”, where dozens of girls, dressed in vivid clothes with their faces covered with veils, kneel down on the ground and start swinging their hair along to the sound of the music.

However, the most amazing show is the one made by acrobatic horsemen who bounce around and off their mounts. This great festival finishes with a rousing procession.

Just for you to know

The festival’s date is different every year, but it usually starts either at the end of November or at the beginning of December. Also, during the festivities, it’s hard to find accommodation so you better book it earlier. Last but not least, the first day and the last day of the festival are the most spectacular.

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