All over Qatar, children are excitedly gearing up for Garangao – the traditional festival that falls on the 14th night of every Ramadan.
Consistent with the heritage of the GCC, Garangao has been celebrated in the region since the olden days. On this night, mid-Ramadan, children roam around their neighborhoods wearing traditional vibrant clothing and singing traditional songs to mark the occasion, and receive varieties of gifts and bags of sweets from elders.
The origin of the word "Garangao" or "Gargee'aan" comes from the Gulf word "Gara", which connotes the sound of things knocking together, such as the sound of the nuts and sweets in the bags as children carry them around their necks, or the sound of the knocking of the children at people's doors or even the sound of the stones that children carry while singing and roaming around houses. This annual tradition can be likened to that of Halloween (minus the ghost, ghoul and scary stories!)
The Pearl-Qatar is revving up to host a multitude of activities to ensure a very festive Garangao evening on the island.
Starting right after Iftar (9pm), The Pearl-Qatar serves as a hub of activities for all ages. The celebration will include a variety of activities offering children the opportunity to listen to customary stories and readings from the Qu'ran in a traditional tent setting. Other attractions include henna and face painting stations, bouncing castles, inflatable slides alongside delicious treats such as popcorn, ice cream and cotton candy machines, as well as Garangao give-away goodies for kids.
Held in the indoor arena of Souq Al Medina in Medina Centrale allows the evening festivities to continue after the evening prayers, till late hours of the night. This year's Garangao celebrations at The Pearl is sure to be the biggest yet and encourages families in and around the island to come together to mark the occasion in a tremendous fashion.
So on Sunday 19th June come along and be part of a celebration that is steeped in tradition, a festivity that reminds the Qatari community of their cultural past and a night which brings the community together.
This Garangao, let's engage, enjoy and acknowledge the bliss of childhood, its purity, and the delights and happiness of Ramadan.