Qaranqasho An age-old Ramadhan tradition

MUSCAT: Qaranqasho is a delightful social tradition celebrated in the middle of the holy month of Ramadhan. Children go out after iftar and Maghrib prayer in organised groups chanting popular songs related to this beautiful tradition. Many of the Sultanate’s governorates celebrate Qaranqasho, the most common name for the event while some others call it Garge’an, the term which is also used by some other GCC countries that follow this Ramadhan tradition. Qaranqasho is an occasion eagerly awaited by children as well as by adults who make necessary preparations. It is a festival for children and they prepare for it several days before the event by getting themselves ready with new clothes.
On the 14th day of Ramadhan, after Maghrib prayer, children come out in groups and are delighted to visit the houses where adults wait to receive them with sweets, money and nuts and contribute to bring a smile on the faces of children.
Gifts to children vary according to the changes in lifestyle and the wishes of children. Houses compete with one another to provide the best for children who would return at the end of Qaranqasho to their homes. Children are delighted to offer their parents the gifts they have received in a beautiful Ramadhan ceremony.
Qaranqasho contributes to the enhancement of social communication. It also enables children to learn good manners as they go out in a group and socialise with their peers. Each group has a leader who assigns roles to members of the group and determines the routes of going and returning, rest time and other things.
“Qaranqasho is not limited to a specific group of children. Qaranqasho tradition has been inherited from ancient times. Parents and grandparents took part in it and the children still maintain it and are keen to participate in it,” said Nasr bin Said al Kindi, from the Governorate of Muscat.
Al Kindi told Oman News Agency (ONA) that the gifts of Qaranqasho in the past were limited to money and dates, but now the gifts include candy, nuts and small games, in addition to money.
In the past, Qaranqasho was celebrated throughout the wilayat and by all the households and continues until midnight in the moonlight. Qaranqasho today is confined to the period from iftar to Taraweeh.
Social institutions, associations and commercial centres have begun to participate in the revival of Qaranqasho by hosting it and contributing to make children and participants happy. — ONA