Why Garangao is one of Ramadan’s most one-of-a-kind celebrations

Rumana Shaikh's picture
Rumana Shaikh

By Rumana Shaikh

Garangao is fast approaching in Qatar, so we’ve compiled a list of some traditions of the festival that you should know! Garangao is celebrated on the 14th day of every Ramadan and is usually most enjoyed by children as a celebration of having fasted for half of the Holy Month. They eagerly await this festival for the first half of Ramadan, until they finally get to rejoice with their family and friends. While the origins of the festival are unclear, it continues to be a celebration exclusive to the Gulf region, and is known by different names in the different Gulf states.

1.  Children dressing up: You’ll know when it’s Garangao because children all over Qatar get decked up in fancy clothes, with the girls wearing rich, colourful, embroidered jalabiyas and gold jewelry, carrying their decorated bags all set to hit the streets for a candy rush!

2.  Collecting candy: Of course, a festival for children means lots and lots of candy. Traditionally, sweets and nuts were given to children in their bags. People stock their houses with candy prior to the festival – with some people even taking the time to prepare little packages for the children to collect.

3.   Singing in the streets: The children have special Garangao songs that they sing as they frolic down the streets of their neighbourhoods, trying to get their hands on as much candy as they can.

4.  Community gatherings: Often during Garangao, families gather together in their houses and celebrate Ramadan-style while their kids are out celebrating with candy. It’s a great time for people to get together and enjoy the company of family and friends!

5.  Activities around the country: Garangao celebrations take place all around Qatar, with people bringing their children to partake in a variety of activities. These include distribution of goodie-bags, applying henna, face-painting, listening to, and narrating stories! 

If you’re planning to celebrate Garangao with your family in Qatar, check out some of these cool celebrations happening this weekend!

1.   The Mall of Qatar will be hosting a fun event full of surprises for kids from 7:30 p.m. till 8:30 p.m. on June 8. Entry to the event is free!

2.  A Garangao celebration will take place at The Royal Avenue, Porto Arabia on The Pearl. Your kids will be able to participate in a bunch of fun stuff for free!

3.   The recently opened Doha Festival City will also be hosting Garangao Night on Friday, June 9, from 7:30 p.m. till 10:30 p.m. Kids will be able to collect candy all around the mall and be part of a drum-making workshop. All of the above events are free!

Want to know more about Garangao? Check out this video here! And to learn more about Ramadan in Qatar visit Ramadan.qa! Do you and your family celebrate Garangao each year? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below and don’t forget to give us a like and a share – it keeps us going!