The history and politics behind Morocco’s “Throne Day”

The following is an excerpt of a must-read piece I had the privilege of translating with my colleague Allison McManus. It delves into the history behind “Throne Day” in Morocco, how its purpose has evolved to serve those in power, and how it culminated to serve a type of nationalism that builds itself upon centralized authoritarianism in Morocco. It sparked my interest in examining how nationalism in Morocco fed off the monarchy as a component inherent to the “Moroccan nation.” More on that soon…

From its recent creation in 1933, Coronation Day registered as what historians call the “invention of tradition.” That is to say, it was created to establish a set of rituals in order to create a fictitious continuity with the past and instill standards of behavior upon the population in the name of tradition. The promoters of invented traditions choose references and old symbols to respond to the constraints of their times. Under its current form, Hassan II (1961-1999) created this ritual to affirm the monarchy’s centrality and supremacy. It was thus diverted from its original purpose which the nationalists initially intended it to serve: to symbolize and celebrate the Moroccan nation.

Read more here.

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