Garangao, a festive children’s tradition observed in different iterations across the Gulf, is kind of like Halloween (without the ghouls and goblins) and usually celebrated on the 14th of Ramadan, which this year falls on Tuesday.
To mark the occasion in Qatar, local children typically dress up in traditional clothes and knock on neighbors’ doors to receive nuts and candy, while singing a special Garangao song.
For those who want to participate, Qatar is hosting a variety of Garangao events that are free and open to the public over the next couple of days. Here’s what’s going on:
Monday, July 22
- National Museum of Qatar: Qatari culture will be explored from 8:30pm to 10:30pm in English on Monday at the QMA Gallery (Building 10) in Katara Cultural Village. There will be a fashion show, and kids can participate in several art-related projects, including playing with clay and collage-making, as well as eat local food and sweets. More information is here.
- Ezdan Mall: Starting at 8pm on Monday, children will be provided with traditional clothes to wear and activities to participate in, including an art workshop and the chance to go to shops at the mall to collect treats. A puppet show will close out the event around 9pm.
Tuesday, July 23
- Katara Cultural Village: Katara’s festivities are set to be extensive, kicking off at 7pm, and including: a dolls theater, reading corner, art workshops, handcrafts corner, traditional games and gift collection opportunities, as well as refreshments.
- Aspire Park: The program start at 9:30pm with a small makeshift village for children to walk through and collect treats. There will also be games and competitions, and a community screening of “Children of Heaven” by the Doha Film Institute at 11:30pm.
- Heritage Village: Near Al Rumaila Park, the village will be open for Garangao on Tuesday night, and children will receive special bags and gifts. The usual traditional wares and food will also be on offer, according to QNA.
- Al Mirqab Boutique Hotel, Souq Waqif: The festivities will begin at 8:30pm and include storytelling, candy giveaways and henna painting.
- The Pearl-Qatar: Garangao celebrations are being held from 8:30pm to 11:30pm in Porto Arabia, 18 La Croisette, at The Pearl. Organizers say planned activities include face painting and ceramic coloring, and will feature popcorn and cotton candy machines, as well as garangao goodies for kids.
We’ll keep updating this list as we hear about more events. Do you plan to take your kids anywhere to celebrate?
Credit: Photo by Omar Chatriwala