Garanga’oh – A Special Ramadan Night for Children in Qatar

Garanga’oh, also known as Garangao, Karangao or Garanga’oh Night, is celebrated in the mid-month night of Ramadan. The Qatari society celebrates the local fiesta of Garanga’oh around the 15th day of Ramadan.

Starting right after Iftar, children gather in their vibrant traditional costumes in each neighborhood and start wandering, going from door to door, chanting a special rhyme while holding cloth sacks to fill them with goodies (similar to Halloween). The night continues after the evening prayers till late hours of the night. The adults gather at home waiting for the youngsters to show up to fill their sacks with sweets and nuts. Families pay short visits to each others and exchange greetings and folk dishes.

Common across the GCC, Garanga’oh has been celebrated in the region since the old times. Although known as Garanga’oh in Qatar and Bahrain, it’s also referred to as Haq al Laylah (Due of the Night) or Haq Allah (God’s Due) in the UAE; Al Garangashooh or Al Tolbah (The Request) in Oman; and Garga’an Night in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

In Qatar, Garanga’oh has become more than just a traditional ‘trick-or-treat’ night. In order to preserve this folk heritage, schools and some clubs in Doha celebrate the event by giving away folk dishes, sacks of Garanga’oh sweets and nuts, and by playing folk games. Many venues such Katara, Souq Wagif and even the hotels have begun to celebrate the night and invite the public, both Qatari and non-Qatari, to join the celebrations. Here are a few suggestions:

Ezdan Mall

Kids will receive a bag to go around the stores in the Ground floor and First floor to collect candies and meet at the main location of the events along with the Mesehr who will play traditional songs for the occasion. Kids Art and Carfts workshop will also be available.

Date: Wednesday 9 July 2014

Time: 8:30 pm

Location: Ezdan Mall (infront of Vodafone at the Basement and walk about in the mall visiting different stores to collect candies)

Qatar Foundation

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development will bring the past into the present as more than 3,000 children, and their families, gather for a traditional Garanga’oh night of celebration that falls on the midpoint of Ramadan. Qatar Foundation’s Garangao night is open to the public and will begin at 9pm and end at midnight. The community will be transported back in time to a bespoke souq as they sample Qatari dishes including ‘haris’, ‘luqaimat’, ‘khanfaroush’ and ‘jarish’. Children will be treated to storytelling, henna and face painting. Pony rides will evoke a sense of nostalgia for yesteryear, as will games such as ‘sabbeh’ (a square game played in the sand), ‘dahouri’ (wheel pushing), ‘tileh’ (marbles) and ‘gaiss’ (hopscotch). With a visitors’ tent and a variety of traditional giveaways on offer, it is a night set to foster an atmosphere that will carry the entire community back in time in a celebration of Qatar’s prized heritage.

Date: Thursday 10 July 2014

Time: 7 pm

Location: Al Shaqab indoor arena

National Museum of Qatar

National Museum of Qatar is celebrating Garanga’oh for the third year, inviting families with children from three to 11 years of age to celebrate the special Ramadan occasion, which will include different fin hands-on activities for children and families.

Date: Friday 11 July 2014

Time: 8:30 pm – 12 am (midnight)

Location: AL RIWAQ, Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park

Garanga’oh bag: Organised by National Museum of Qatar/Program Department – With the help of their parents, children will use different materials to design and decorate their Garanga’oh bags, and fill them with nuts and candies.

Lunar (Moon) Scope Activity: Organised by QM Family Programs – Along with their families, children aged 3 to 12 years will make their own lunar scopes to view the moon on Garangao night and throughout Ramadan, learning about the moon phases and their link to the Ramadan Calendar.

Calligraphy: Organised by QM Public Art Department – Children will create their mixed media art wall using words from the traditional Garangao song. They will use this decoration wall afterwards as a background for some personal photos that remind them of this special day!

Jewellery Workshop: Organised by Mathaf – With the support of their families, children will create simple pieces of modern accessories, inspired by paintings of Qatari jewelry. They will observe the paintings and try to discover the processes that were used to create these jewelry pieces.

Other activities include: Garangao Puppet show organized by QM Publication Department, Traditional Qatari games for children organized by 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, Traditional Qatari Food Corner, and Brazilian Sweets Corner.

Valuable gifts and prizes will be given after each activity.

Aspire Zone Foundation

Aspire Zone Foundation (AZF) will organise a special traditional event, full of engaging activities to ingrain the values of giving and unity and to celebrate traditional legacies. During this time, Aspire Park will be transformed into a giant recreational and sports center. Children will be able to watch or participate in a number of activities including, running, stilt walking, acrobatic shows tightrope walking and learning calligraphy. AZF invites all families in Qatar to participate in Garanga’oh and savour a traditional occasion, which blends Qatari and Gulf societies with local Qatari families.

Date: Friday 11 July 2014

Time: 7:30 pm – 12 am (midnight)

Location: Aspire Park

For more information, visit Aspire’s Life In Aspire website.

Katara Cultural Village

A magical evening awaits children on Garanga’oh Night at Katara. Celebrate this occasion with us as we give away sweet treats alongside exciting activities and surprises with your kids. Bring along your fun spirit to celebrate this unique night and recall the innocent and beautiful memories of childhood with your loved ones at Katara. Watch your children enjoy a great time in the wonderful atmosphere of Ramadan and expect a variety of exciting activities and amazing surprises. Garanga’oh night becomes more beautiful under the starry and twinkling sky of Katara. Come and live the atmosphere of happiness, joy and pleasure, and enjoy with your family members the amazing festive events.

Date: Saturday 12 July 2014

Time: 7 pm

Location: Katara Cultural Village

The Gate Mall

In addition to the Family Fun Zone area which The Gate Mall has set up with arts, crafts and face painting for the kids, The Gate Mall is planning to have a story teller to tell the children about the origin of Garanga’oh and distribute giveaways.

Date: Saturday 12 July 2014

Time: 8 pm – 1 am

Location: Family Fun Area, The Gate Mall

Brazil 2014 Fan Zone

Prior to the live screening of the third/fourth place playoff, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy will be celebrating the traditional Garango’ night of the holy month of Ramadan. On a night ideal for families to celebrate, the Fan Zone will be themed around Qatari and Arabian Gulf traditions and customs, where guests will be given candy and other sweets. Before and after the live broadcasts, there will be a variety of other entertainment suitable for the entire family.

Date: 12 June 2014

Time: 9 pm

Location: Brazil 2014 Fan Zone, Katara Cultural Village

Doors for the event open at 9 pm, to attend visit Doha Exhibition Centre to get a ticket for the event and enjoy the festivities. Demand for the Fan Zone has been high, so get there as early as possible to secure your place.

The Pearl-Qatar

The Pearl-Qatar is also set to celebrate the Garanga’oh tradition, on the 14th day of Ramadan (Saturday 12 July 2014), with a host of specially organised activities for children that highlight the rich cultural and religious heritage of Qatar.

Other venues that are celebrating Garanga’oh include Lagoona Mall, Hyatt Plaza, Villaggio, Landmark and City Centre-Doha.

Note: Please be extra cautious while on roads and take safety measures to avoid traffic accidents. Remember, children will be walking around residential neighborhoods to collect gifts during this night.

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