16 March 2020
A Brief Guide to Marrakech Hammam Etiquette
One’s first time in a hammam can be nerve-wracking. The heat and steam of the room, as well as the nature of the bath itself, may catch first-time visitors off guard.
Since it is a foreign experience for many clients, it is advantageous to know what to expect beforehand. More importantly, it’s a real bonus for travellers to know the rules of hammam since it is a reflection of Moroccan culture and tradition.
This post will provide a few tips on how visitors can practice good etiquette at the hammam so they can enjoy the most pleasurable experience possible.
Don’t Waste Water in a Marrakech Hammam
Morocco is not a coastal nation and since it is a desert country that depends on rain, water scarcity is a domestic problem. That’s why locals frown upon excessive water use. In the hammam, visitors will have to douse water on themselves at different parts of the bath but it’s important to only use what they need. An attendant will typically administer dousings from a bucket but if they aren’t present, then moderation is required from the visitor.
Clothing Requirements at a Marrakech Hammam Are Not What You Think
Like most countries in North Africa and the Middle East, Moroccan culture is a traditionally conservative one. That’s why the locals wear clothing that covers the skin, leaving just a few areas of the body exposed. Nevertheless, clothing rules are somewhat relaxed in the hammam. Women often go in naked while men will wear a loincloth or towel. This can be awkward for a first-time visitor.
Socializing in a Marrakech Hammam is the Norm
The hammam might seem like a place where one tunes out noise and conversation for the sake of relaxation. But that’s not so! Public hammams in Marrakech are social centres, where locals frequently gather for relaxation and conversation.
For example, visitors may come across older married women from rural communities who are engaged in discussions. They may also find a group of men enjoying friendly banter in an attempt to unwind after a long day of hard work.
For most people, this isn’t a problem but it’s an important reminder for the more reserved or introverted type. Of course, for individuals who prefer peace and quiet, they can opt for a private hammam session.
Also, visitors may garner a little extra attention from locals in the public hammams. This isn’t disapproving attention, so the best way to handle it is by staying calm and enjoying the hammam bath.
Observe Marrakech Hammam Etiquette for a Stress-Free Experience
A visitor’s first session in a Marrakech hammam can leave them feeling a tad uneasy, especially in the presence of locals. However, an understanding of hammam etiquette rules can alleviate some of the tension. Knowing what to do before, during and after a hammam bath will help visitors blend in a bit more with the locals and more experienced visitors. Once they’re able to do that, they can let their attendant guide them through the session and relax even more.
Are you interested in a session of hammam massage here in Marrakech? Get in touch with us for info and bookings!