Morocco's King Hassan II rode out in ceremonial white roses on Friday (19 November), to preside at ritual prayers for the end for Ramadam, at the Msalla Prayer Wall outside the Royal Palace.
LV PAN White-robed King Hassan on horseback in parade, waving to crowd
LV & CV Crowd waves as King passes (2 shots)
SV & LV Bandsmen in procession
CV King passes crowd
LV Procession continues (2 shots)
CV Blindfolded horses led on foot
CV Empty ceremonial horse-drawn coach leaving mosque
LV PAN King and procession disappear through archway
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Background: Morocco's King Hassan II rode out in ceremonial white roses on Friday (19 November), to preside at ritual prayers for the end for Ramadam, at the Msalla Prayer Wall outside the Royal Palace.
The same day he remitted the jail sentences of 213 prisoners, to mark the Festival of Id Al-Fitr, which traditionally comes at the end of the Ramadan feast.
SYNOPSIS: Dressed in ceremonial white robes, Morocco's King Hassan 2 rode out on Friday to preside at ritual prayers for the end of Ramadan, at the Msalla Prayer Wall outside the Royal Palace. The prayers are part of the Moslem Festival of Id Al-Fitr, which comes at the end of the fasting month.
The king looked pale as he returned to the Palace, having completed the monarch's traditional duty. He was reported to have a bad cold.
The sighting of the new moon in Mecca traditionally ends the Ramadan month of fasting, and this year it was sighted on Wednesday evening. The various Moslem countries then arranged the celebration of Id Al-Fitr according to their traditions. Some waited to make their own sighting of the new moon.
In Morocco this Moslem Festival demands the presence of the King, since in this country religious fervour is not declining as in some parts of the world. Here in a land of 16 million people there is one Mosque for every 550 worshippers, and 149 new ones have been built in the last ten years. Mosque building alone provides work for thousands of Moroccan craftsmen, and the Ministry of Islamic Affairs provides money to finance restoration work.
Although widely known as a sophisticated and internationally-minded monarch, King Hassan the Second takes care to foster the country's Moslem traditions. He took advantage of the end of Ramadan to announce on Friday the remittance of jail sentences on 213 prisoners.