Friday, August 3, 2012


A Doha summer isn't "hot."  It's sweat falling like a river from bare skin.  Waterfalls pouring off foreheads.  Wet jeans and soaked shirts. Understandably, people tend to stay indoors.  But not on "14th Ramadan" when the moon is full and bright.  Celebrate: Garangao!

Garangao moon over Souq Waqif

Kids dress in traditional garments and zip from house to house collecting candy, nuts and treats.  Or head to the souq, Katara, Heritage Village, mall, compound - or any number of other places around town where people distribute delights to giggling kids.

Halloween, but without the demons come to life thing.

Garangao is a Gulf tradition:

The origin of the word “Garangao” or “Gargee’aan” comes from the Gulf word “Gara” which is the sound of things knocking together, such as the sound of the nuts and sweets in the bag as children carry it around their neck, or the sound of the knocking of the children on people’s doors or even the sound of the stones that children carry while singing the Garangao song.

Garangao is a great chance to SEE THE KIDS and TAKE PICTURES.  And experience something of Ramadan - which seems to happen fully behind compound walls this hot-glistening-dripping season.  If there were crickets in Doha, they'd be chorusing all day, all night, every-public-where in Doha right now.

Souq Waqif near Garangao site the week before

Garangao night post iftar, Souq Waqif bustles. Goody tents are arranged in a circle.  Brightly garbed kids - babies in arms to grade school age - race around filling sacks with yummies.  Costume characters and a man with a drum work the crowd.  Veiled women pose, kids beg strangers for photos: "Soura?" (Someone speaks Arabic in Doha!) Happy to comply:

goody baskets
Take our picture! Take our picture again!  One more time! Again!

costume character - love it
A screen reels a movie about kids preparing for Garangao.

Kids and parents circle a goody basket and wait, wait, wait.  Adults crowd for a photo of whatever-happens-next.

Huzzah Garangao!

parents place this darling on a bench so I might snap her photo; I'm in love

At Heritage Village - a remake of a traditional (pre oil) town I have previously been unable to access - kids play games like carry-the-egg-on-a-spoon and eat-cake-with-no-hands while Yankee Doodle Dandy blares from a loudspeaker.  Yes, really:
(forgive quality, please - not a videographer)

Meanwhile, away from the stage, near the full sized dhow, descendants of pearl divers display wares.

Bob and I did not get any candy.  What we did get: slick-hair, heavy-jeans, drain-every-pore wet.

Soooooooooo worth it.


Anonymous said...

This is a keeper!! Of course each one has been--but this screams for a wider market. Halloween, the way it SHOULD be! Garangao should have had news coverage--with links to your site. Mom

Anonymous said...

Very interesting and well done and great with the pictures!