History of Fantasia in Morocco
The tradition of Fantasia also called Tbourida in Morocco, is a centuries-old equestrian art in the Kingdom and the word Tbourida is derived from the word “Baroud” meaning gunpowder. This stylized war game is representing a celebration of the horse and rider relation in reconstructed military parades in accordance with the ancestral Arab-Amazigh rituals.
Today, this cultural art is still performed by both Berbers and Arabs related to festivity moments like agriculture festivals, moussems, weddings, and many national celebrations.
Horse Riders Costumes and Performances
The Tbourida Riders And Horses Costumes
Each Tbourida group (called “Sorba”) is composed of many horse riders wearing the Moroccan traditional costumes of their tribe, elegant djellabas, and the horses’ saddleries are also beautifully decorated with handmade embroidery.
The Tbourida Performance
All the group riders, holding old muskets, follow the commands of the lead rider called “Mqaddem” who positions himself in the middle and they go for around 200 meters in a straight line at a progressive and same speed. Then, at a specific point, all the riders fire a well-synchronized shot into the sky or the ground like a huge explosion, especially if you are watching the show near the arrival place and the smoke invades the air and the riders are quick in stopping their horses and leave the space for the next troop.
The Tbourida show, not to be missed, will not leave you indifferent to the beauty of the riders’ costumes, their ability in staying in line from the start until the end with a well-synchronized acceleration. Also, the horse’s decoration, supremacy, and the power of the synchronized gunfire.
Famous Events of Fantasia in Morocco
One of the most popular Tbourida events in Morocco is the HASSAN II National Tbourida Trophy competition and The International El Jadida Horse Show. In competitions, the troops (Sorbas) judges take into consideration many precise criteria like the riders’ dress, the skillful handling of the guns, and synchronization of shots
The Annual HASSAN II National Tbourida Trophy
Every year, the most skilled fantasia teams representing different regions of Morocco, compete to be qualified for the finals in the Royal Complexe des Sports Equestres Dar Es Salam in Rabat. Then, the finalists compete for the Hassan II National Tbourida Trophy.
The International El Jadida Horse Show
Every year in October, if you are in Morocco especially in the coastal city of El-Jadida located 100kms south of Casablanca, there is a must-see event lasting several days. It is an opportunity to enjoy watching Tbourida horse riders performing in the International El Jadida Horse Show held in Mohammed VI Exhibition Hall recently build. The infrastructure is huge and the event serves to show the Moroccan rich equine history, competitions, and the different Arab horse breeders. This big event is attracting horse lovers and experts from all over the world.
Tbourida – UNESCO World Heritage
On December 15th, 2021, Unesco responded favorably to the Kingdom of Morocco to register Tbourida on the representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Hotels Recommendations in El-Jadida
Did you watch Tbourida before? If yes, let us know in the comments section below, how did you find it?