Friday, August 03, 2012

Ramadan 2012 – Day 15, Garangao

So why else was I at Katara that evening? Because it was also the evening of Garangao.

On the 14th night of Ramadan, it is custom for Qatari children to dress in traditional clothes and go door-to-door and receiving nuts, sweets or money from homeowners. In that respect it is similar to the Western holiday of Halloween but for Garangao children dress traditionally (no masks, no weird costumes), and there is no atmosphere of horror/macabre that surrounds Halloween. Children may also sing songs as they go from house to house, with the songs having Islamic themes, like blessings Allah will give you if you are kind to the children.

Also, Garangao is definitely for children. Unlike Halloween adults don't go dressing up in costumes and attending adult Garangao parties.

With it being the middle of summer it is dang hot out, a bit too hot to be making long journeys going door-to-door. So some places held Garangao functions for children, such as Katara. It still meant being outside but at least kids didn't have to travel too far to go door-to-door, and it was easy to either duck into some air conditioning or stand near some of the cold air blowers that Katara had set up all over the place.

Here's some pictures. Because it was so dark most of the pictures I took were blurry but even more importantly it was difficult to take photos that would not have Qatari ladies in them since they were always with their children (you should never take pictures of Qatari ladies without permission.) I figured taking pictures of the ladies handing out candies was okay because everyone seemed to be taking photos of them.

As you can see the candies and nuts are kept in sacks or wide baskets and children will typically receive a big handful, a much bigger portion than kids at Halloween get.

As things started getting busy I unfortunately had to go to attend that ghabga that I mentioned in my last post.

For more information about Garangao, and some nice pictures, here's some articles that were in the newspapers today:


Hadiths of the Day

Be kind to children . . .

Narrated ‘Aisha: a bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, "You (people) kiss the boys! We don't kiss them." The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "I cannot put mercy in your heart after Allah has taken it away from it." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Good Manners)

Narrated Usama bin Zayed: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) used to put me on one of his thighs and put Al-Hasan bin Ali on his other thigh, and then embrace us and say, "O Allah! Please be merciful to them as I am merciful to them." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of Good Manners)

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