Passover is over. Millions of Jews around the world are probably binging on chametz, but don’t make a big deal about it. But for Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover is marked with a huge celebration called Mimouna, and it is now spreading throughout Judaism.
According to the Jewish Daily Forward, Mimouna is a joyous occasion marked by feasting and open-door parties for all neighbors and friends. Traditionally, it was often a time when Arabs and Jews in North Africa would celebrate together.
Guests are greeted with the phrase “Tirbah u’tissad — may you prosper and succeed.”
The star of the table is mofletta, a thin crepe or pancake. Other treats include lots of fruit and nuts, and baked goods like cookies.
The roots of the celebration are unclear. Some say it marks the death of Rabbi Maimon ben Yosef, father of the Rambam (Maimonides). Other say that Mimouna is a spring festival, bringing good luck and a good harvest. Still others say it is an affirmation of faith following the story of the Exodus, pointing to the similarity between the name Mimouna and the Hebrew word for faith, “emunah.”
More recently, Mimouna has become popular among Jews of all ethnic groups in Israel, and it has even recently spread to the US.