Children across Sultanate celebrate Qaranqasho

Children across the Sultanate celebrated Qaranqasho on Friday as part of the holy month of Ramadhan.It is held on the night of mid-Ramadhan where children come out after breaking their fasting and Maghri b prayers in organised groups. On the 14th day of Ramadhan, after Maghrib prayer, colourfully dressed children come out wearing new clothes in groups and visit the neighbourhood to get sweets, toys, gifts and money.
They sing ‘Qaranqasho yo nas, atona showayat halwa…’, which means “Hey people, it is Qaranqasho. Please give us some sweets.” The presents are either gift-wrapped or neatly packed in bags. While some children have their faces painted, the young girls wear make-up and jewellery, and their hair braided in a unique way.
Most Omanis decorate their houses, including the gates, with candles and lamps.
Qaranqasho is celebrated across the Arabian Gulf region. In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, it is called Gargeea’n, and in Bahrain, it is known as Gargo’an. Children of all ages participate in the festival.

Qaranqasho enhances social communication and enables children to learn good manners.
The group has a leader who distributes the roles among the members and determines the routes of going and returning, rest time and other things.
Social institutions, associations and commercial centres take part in Qaranqasho to put a smile on the faces of children and participants.
Shaikh Salim bin Ali al Naebi, member of the Municipal Council in the Wilayat of Qurayat said, “Qaranqasho is a traditional event celebrated by our parents and grandparents and celebrated now by our children and grandchildren.”
He said that gifts of Qaranqasho in the sixties were limited to money and dates.
Badriya Mohammed al Balushi