Girgian - A Traditional Kid’s Festival during Ramadan

Monday, April 29, 2019

Girgian is part of the Gulf region’s tradition during the holy month of Ramadan where kids are given special sweets. It is marked in the 13th, 14th and 15th of Ramadan as special days for this tradition where children dress up and go door to door wishing neighbors and collecting treats (mostly candy) but also money and toys.

Kids wear special , mostly old traditional costume and tie a small bag on their chest. For boys, they wear bright Thawbs, traditional caps, vests, beautifully hand-woven Bisht with gilt trim. For girls, they wear Dira’ahs with embroidery. They start visiting their neighbouring houses and knock on the doors. When somebody opens the door they start singing 'Girgian, Wu Girgian. These are the happiest days for kids, as one hardly see them at late-night ghabqas but during these three days, kids are almost everywhere asking people to give them some candies and toys.

The word Girgian is derived from the word gargaa, which refers to the loud clanging sound heard when a household pot made of metal is struck. In Qatar it's called Garangaou, Gargaaoun in Bahrain, Girgian in Kuwait and in the UAE they call it Hag Allah.

Girgian is a children’s holiday, a little like Halloween, when costumed children come and ring your bell and are given sweets, sometimes money. Over the years the once simple festivities of the Kuwaiti celebration of Girgian has evolved into elaborate gift giving and intricately sewn dara’a..

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