The end of Passover is celebrated widely by indulging in gloriously leavened foods like pizza, bread and cookies. But in Morocco, Israel, and most Sephardic communities, there’s an actual holiday for that, called Mimouna.
Mimouna was originally celebrated by Moroccan Jews, and like most timeless traditions, there are many theories behind its origin. Mimouna is not only a feast, but a symbolic and spiritual event that marks the beginning of spring–a time full of hope for wealth and abundance in the coming year.
Muslims took part in the celebration too, bringing milk and honey, hametz flours and couscous to their Jewish neighbors. Entire communities would come together, wishing for mutual productivity and prosperity for the coming year. People traveled from house to house, tasting sweets and celebrating with their neighbors.
Today, people of all backgrounds take part in the festivities in Israel, where Mimouna has become so popular that people are usually granted an unpaid day off work to continue celebrating into the next day.
There are even signs of the tradition catching on in New York–this year, Balaboosta’s Chef Einat Admony is planning a ticketed Mimouna feast on the Lower East Side.
Each element of the Mimouna feast has important symbolism, as shown by this video, made by Visrael.
Planning on starting your own back-to-back Passover tradition? Here are some classic Mimouna recipes to try:
Pronounced: seh-FAR-dik, Origin: Hebrew, describing Jews descending from the Jews of Spain.