Tripoli April 2: The International Tafsout Festival at Nalut in Libya’s Nafusa Mountains is scheduled for April 4-6 this year.
Preparations for the annual Tafsout (which means spring) festival of Amazigh culture and tradition are nearing completion, including the huge open air theatre excavated in the Talah Woods of Nalut, and the equally huge ‘Z’ character constructed for the event and slated for unveiling on the opening night.
The ‘Z’ character is to be found in the Amazigh flag. It symbolizes the human yearning for freedom, with his/her arms wide open, lifted skyward. The three colors symbolize the three origins of the Berbers. Blue is for the Amazigh who live by the sea, green is for those from the mountains and yellow represents Amazigh from the desert. Keep in mind that there are groups of Tuaregs who are considered of Amazigh origin.
The festival is free and open to all comers. As well as a display of arts, crafts, traditions and culture, it usually includes a huge feast of the traditional Amazigh dish of ‘Shirshe/Ftat’, which is a type of traditional pasta. Hundreds of traditional-type bowls are usually eaten up by those visiting the festival.
Besides the famous local granary, the old city, the underground caves, there will be a series of events held at the newly excavated open air theatre. The theatre was completed purely on a voluntary base by the local community.
The irony is that, despite hosting this annual even and accommodating hundreds of visitors, Nalut has no real hotel and most visitors either rent houses from locals or are actually put up for free during the festival.