In Algeria, as well as in the neighbouring countries of Morocco and Libya, there is still a large Imazighen (Berber) population that retains a strong ethnic identity. Algerian Imazighen celebrate Amazigh New Year every 12 January.
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The Berber calendar dates from what is 950 B.C. on the Gregorian Calendar, and the Berber language and culture far predates the Arab conquests of North Africa in the A.D. 700’s.
There are over 13 million Berbers in Algeria, accounting for about a third of the total population. There were efforts to suppress any resurgence of Berber culture in decades gone by, but today, the government recognises the Tamazight (Berber) language.
Amazigh New Year is a time when Algerian and other Berbers celebrate their ancient heritage and their survival as a distinct ethnic group despite centuries of domination by other groups.