Ramadan Kareem

Reema Jafar, IIK Young Contributor
Sunday, March 10, 2024

The sun shone like a gleaming ball of fire, and happiness surged through me (I was not in Disneyland) as I had successfully completed this fasting. My family had surrounded the dining table full of laughter and chatter as we waited for the final minute to end. Now, I have no idea why, but when you wait for the Adan during Ramadan to break your fast, time is totally against you, it passes so slowly (I even tried changing my clock). This is the atmosphere that fills the dining table for 30 days during the month of Ramadan.

I eagerly wait every year for Ramadan to begin, marking down each day left. Mind you, it does not cut down my annoyance at having to get up at 2:30 AM for Suhoor, but I like it all the same. Adults spend their time reciting the Holy Quran or praying. Brings a very calm and peaceful atmosphere, I’d say. By the time we near the end of Ramadan, most of the people will be found in the mosque praying or preparing for Eid. That is the calm atmosphere of Ramadan mainly followed by adults, but children have different fun. There are several surprises during Ramdan, first of all, Reeya (my younger sister) and I surprise each other with gifts, and due to the suhoor timing, school starts late and ends early (icing on the cake which tastes very nice).

For me however, the biggest gift of all is the Girgian that takes place every year during Ramadan. OK, don’t get yourself in a twist, I’ll explain, although I reckon many of you have guessed it. It’s the Arabian version of Halloween, where you knock or ring houses and they give you sweets, chocolates and goodies. Only for Halloween, you dress up as witches or princess and pirates, but in Ramadan, you dress in traditional dress. And also, Halloween is on October 31st and Girgian is on the 13th, 14th, and 15th of Ramadan.

I however, am talking about the modern one. In this case, you go for programs and they distribute goodies. They also have music, traditional Kuwaiti music in general, where if you ask, they sing songs in your name, and not to mention, they give out several goodies and chocolates as well. I love this Girgian in particular, because you see, I was invited to one of these Girgians by my dad’s colleague, Dr. Shaikha Al Sanad, I have to admit, she’s a very charming and pleasant lady, and also very capable, because the Girgian party was very well organized, and also because I really enjoyed it and still cherish it’s memories. During this particular Girgian, several programs were arranged, like magic acts, and shows like if you have a coin and in your pocket or if you have a red watch (depending on what color they ask, so mind you, don’t always wear red watches for Girgian), you get a gift. There were even ice cream carts giving out ice creams, and cotton candy machines continuously whirring around making soft fluffy cotton candies. Once, there was even a horse carriage. This might sound like a fantasy world or dreamland, but I truly did go for this Girgian. The only word I can use to describe that program is ‘Heaven’. Reeya and I spent hours the next few days counting our goodies and discussing all that we did when we went for Girgian.

There is also anther version of Girgian where people roam around in cars and distribute goodies to children passing by. I can’t say I don’t like it because I too have accumulated some goodies myself. I also like the fact that at the end of every Ramadan, we have a festival to celebrate (Eid obviously). It’s like we wait for Ramadan to end so that it becomes Eid, and once Eid is over, Ramadan to start again and it goes like a cycle.

By the way, don’t give yourself a sore tooth from all the Girgian goodies. But goodies or no goodies, ‘Life is a festival, it’s up to you whether to celebrate or not’.

Reema Jafar
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