In Oman and many countries in the Gulf, Qaranqasho may come in different names but one thing is clear, it is a night most memorable to kids from the region. It is because during this evening, they are at the centre of everyone’s attention with different activities. Malls and private companies organise special events just to celebrate the spirit of the evening.
Children celebrate Qaranqasho by wearing traditional costumes and going door-to-door to their neighbourhoods singing songs and collecting sweets and halwa on the night before the 15th day of Ramadhan.
This celebration started as a way of rewarding children for successfully fasting for the first half of the month, and to encourage them to continue through the second half. The tradition is a testament to the importance of this month and the necessity to encourage children to participate in its activities.
Socially, the tradition strengthens the relationship of neighbours as children move from one house to another to collect sweets. On this occasion, they are given an opportunity to meet with each other. Qaranqasho enhances social communication and enables children to learn good manners.
In the past, the events were held at different houses in the neighbourhood to gather all the children in one place and let them celebrate with games, gifts and food. Later on, they pass the whole neighbourhood knocking on doors asking for the sweets.
When children knock on doors, it has become customary for adults to welcome them and give them sweets and money; children normally sing another song after that, appreciating their generousity.
Traditionally, children carry bags made of fabrics to collect their sweets and money. Today, designers have competed to come up with different styles for the bags which are usually made of paper.
As time continues to change, we see today large organisations, shopping malls, hotels, corporate and government organisations holding Qaranqasho events for children.
Muscat Municipality will hold its events at Muscat Grand Mall and Qurayat Lake Resort at 8:30 pm.
The event will include different entertainment shows and scientific activities, competitions for children and gifts. There will be a corner for henna for girls, face colouring, traditional dances and songs.