Events in Tunisia

Most Tunisian celebrations take place in summer. Weddings are often elaborate affairs lasting several days, and you may happen upon wedding processions in the countryside. While the big events are increasingly geared towards the tourist market, many small local festivals, often of a religious nature, are celebrated in the villages.

Islamic Holidays: The dates of Islamic feast days are dictated by the Muslim calendar and vary each year. There are two major festivals. Eid es-Seghir (Eid ed-Fitr) marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. Though it is largely a family celebration, people stroll the streets. Sidi Bou Saïd is especially lively. During Eid el-Kebir (Eid el-Adha), Tunisians slaughter a sheep in memory of Abraham’s sacrifice.

20 March: Tunisian Independence Day is marked by parades nationwide.

April: The Festival of Oranges in Nabeul celebrates the blossoming of the orange trees on Cap Bon with various cultural events.

May/June: Trained falcons hunt quail and partridge during the El Haouaria Falconry Festival on Cap Bon.

July/August: The country’s biggest cultural event is the International Festival of Carthage, with theatre, music, dance and film events staged in the restored Roman theatre. The Dougga Festival of Classical Theatre, held in the ancient Roman amphitheatre, attracts visiting international touring companies, including Paris’s Comedie Française. The International Cultural Centre in Hammamet also holds a music and drama festival.

September: Grombalia holds a Grapevine Festival in late Aug/early September, though it’s a rather tame affair with displays relating to Tunisia’s wine-making tradition.

October/November: The Carthage International Film Festival is held every other year (even-numbered years) and features Arab and African films as well as others from around the world. The films are shown in cinemas throughout Tunis.