Preserving Traditions: Families Commemorate Garangao Across Qatar

Doha, Qatar: Residents of Qatar came together yesterday to celebrate Garangao, a cherished tradition marking the halfway point of Ramadan, particularly adored by young children.

Numerous prominent venues across the country, including the Cultural Village Foundation, Katara, Souq Waqif, Old Doha Port, Expo 2023 Doha, Darb Al Saai, Lusail Boulevard, and Msheireb Downtown Doha, were abuzz with thousands of children and youngsters participating in this beloved festivity.

Beyond these landmarks, various municipalities, public and private organizations, and schools collaborated to embrace this annual Gulf celebration, sparking enthusiasm for the final two weeks of fasting.

Garangao, deeply rooted in Qatari and Gulf heritage, holds a special significance for young children, who were treated with goodies and engaged in educational and creative activities.

Katara, the Cultural Village, echoed with laughter and joy as hundreds of children, accompanied by their parents, reveled in Garangao festivities. Alongside the customary distribution of treats and nuts, the village organized a range of engaging activities to immerse children in the spirit of Garangao.

Similarly, Msheireb Downtown Doha and Old Doha Port hosted vibrant events, including a Fashion Show and Best Garangao Outfit competition, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Riza Sotomango, a mother of four, expressed delight as her children, Tristan, Laurice, Shana, and their cousin Pierre, enthusiastically participated in this year’s Garangao festivities.

“Every year, they eagerly anticipate this tradition, especially Shana and Laurice, my two youngest, for the treats they receive,” she remarked.

Highlighting the significance of reintroducing and nurturing this tradition annually, regardless of religious affiliation, Sotomango stressed its educational value for the youth.

Alia, a parent from India, shared her excitement as her daughter participated in the Best Garangao Outfit competition at Msheireb. Adorned in a traditional Qatari dress, complete with a headdress and goodie pouch, her daughter eagerly embraced the opportunity to showcase her attire on the runway.

“It’s so nice that Msheireb is doing this event again. Last year, we were just watching the competition and fashion show, but now my daughter, Aamina, said she wanted to join, so here we are now. She was really excited.”

Originating from the term “gara,” signifying the sound produced when two objects collide, the festival’s roots trace back to the tradition of pearl diving. Qatar Tourism noted that Garangao occurs every 14th day of Ramadan, inviting children to don their traditional attire and knock on neighbors’ doors to receive sweets and nuts.

The whole community welcomes the kids with treats like sweets and nuts. On this night, Qatari kids and all their international friends stay out until late collecting treats in traditional cotton bags, while singing a traditional song.