Each month, Lonely Planet Kids takes a look at a festival or culture from around the world and creates an activity to inspire curious young minds. This month, we’re celebrating Morocco’s Rose Festival with a spot of flower pressing.
The Moroccan Festival of Roses takes place in early May each year. It is held in the Valley of the Roses, in the midst of the Atlas Mountains. Pink roses shoot up all over the landscape and the flowers are used to create rosewater oil, which is an ingredient used for making perfume.
The festivities run for two days, in the Valley of the Roses’ capital, El Kelaâ M’Gouna. You can take part in dancing, singing and even sword-fighting, and there’s a ‘Miss Roses’ contest where women wear rose necklaces!
You will need:
Paper or newspaper
A bunch of roses
Several heavy books
Make sure to use fresh flowers. The best will be those that are buds or ones that have just bloomed.
Choose the heaviest book you can find. A dictionary would be perfect! Ask an adult before selecting your book, as the pages could get slightly damp, and you don’t want to damage something precious!
Remove the lower leaves and thorns and cut the flower stems. Make sure that they are short enough to fit in the book without poking out of the end.
Place two pieces of paper or newspaper inside the book so as to protect the pages, then place the flowers on top of it, making sure that they aren’t touching one another.
Close the book and press down, then place more heavy books on top of this one and leave to dry for one or two weeks.
Check on your flowers every few days, to see if they are dry. After a week or two, they’ll be fully dry and ready to show off! Why not display them behind glass in a picture frame?
Feeling inspired? Download and print our activity sheet and try flower pressing for yourself!