Yannayer

   This term means "January," and it refers to the Amazigh New Year's Day. It is also called ighf n'usggas, asggas ujdid, haguza, or byannu, all denoting "new year." It is a common custom that on New Year's Eve or Day, some special foods are made. In southcentral Morocco, haguza, or a seven-vegetable meal, is prepared. It is made of some meat, pitted dates, chickpeas, lentils, wheat, corn, and barley. Greens (zagzaw) are added to it so that the coming year may be green, and hot chili powder is not used since it may forecast a hot or difficult year for people. The origin of Yannayer dates back to the earliest known recorded testimony of the Berber migration and also the earliest written documentation of Libyan history. Inscriptions found in ancient Egypt dating from the Old Kingdom (ca. 2700-2200 B.C.) are the first instances in which the Amazigh people were mentioned in historical records and also refer to the foundation of the 22nd Egyptian dynasty by the Amazigh ruler, Pharaoh Sheshonq I, in 950 B.C. While Imazighen organize their religious life in concordance with the lunar-based calendar of Islam, their calendar is based on the Julian (solar) calendar, by which farming and pastoral nomadism are regulated by seasons, with the present Gregorian year of 2005 corresponding to the Amazigh year of 2955.

Historical Dictionary of the Berbers (Imazighen) . . 2014.

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