The Moroccan government has officially approved the addition of the Amazigh New Year to the list of paid public holidays.
The decision, which the government made today during its weekly council meeting, aims to reflect Morocco’s commitment to honor the Amazigh heritage and strengthen the cultural identity of the country.
According to the government’s spokesperson Mustapha Baitas, the recognition of the Amazigh New Year as an official holiday came in response to directives from King Mohammed VI earlier this year.
The new law falls under the provisions of Article 217 of Labor Law No. 65.99, which determines the list of paid holidays in various sectors, including industrial, commercial, agricultural, and forestry activities.
The first decree project aims to recognize January 14 (the Amazigh New Year) as an official holiday with paid leave for both agricultural and non-agricultural activities. This addition increases the total number of paid holidays in Morocco to 14 days per year.
January 14 has been chosen for the Amazigh New Year holiday based on recommendations from the Royal Institute of Amazigh Culture.
The second decree project focuses on amending the existing decree (No. 2.77.169), which specifies the official holidays in public administrations and public institutions.
The decision to recognize the Amazigh New Year as a national holiday reflects the king’s “commitment to the Amazigh language, a fundamental part of Morocco’s authentic identity and a shared asset for all Moroccans,” a statement from the Royal Court said.
The move is a significant milestone that echoed the persistent calls from Amazigh activists, who have been, for years, calling for the inclusion of the Amazigh New Year as a national holiday.