Garangao: A sweet celebration during Ramadan

Richard Harris, English Content Editor

Unique to Qatar and the wider Gulf, the celebration of Garangao is one of Ramadan’s most beloved traditions for young children, allowing them to go house to house collecting sweet treats from their neighbors.

Officially falling on the 14th evening of the Holy Month (although often celebrated earlier), the festival of Garangao marks the halfway point for children who have spent the previous two weeks fasting, perhaps for the first time in their lives, and encourages them to keep their fast until the end of the month.

Beginning after the sunset (maghrib) prayer, children will knock on doors throughout their neighborhood, collecting sweets, nuts and - in more distant times – wheat, dates and rice, gathering the treats in a bag slung around their neck. As they go door-to-door, they will more than likely be asked to sing the traditional Garangao song.

Believed to be derived from the word gara, a term that describes the sound made when two objects are struck against each other, the festival is popular across the Gulf and is thought to have its origins in the tradition of pearl diving.  

Each country of the Gulf has a slightly different name for the festival; in Saudi Arabia it is Karkee’aan, Kuwait it is Gargee’aan, in Oman it is called Garangashoch while in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the other emirates it is Hag Al Leylah.

Here at the Library, we have two books specially for children about the celebration, The Garangao Kingdom and The Most Beautiful Garangao Night. There are also many books exploring the spirituality of Ramadan specifically written for young minds.

To learn more, visit the Library during our Ramadan opening times of 9.00AM – 4.00PM, Saturday to Thursday.

Add new comment