Girgean … Ramadan’s trick-or-treat

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Practice dates back hundreds of years

Children during their ‘Girgean’ celebration

KUWAIT CITY, May 31, (KUNA): While many children of the world eagerly await for Halloween each year to wear their elaborate costumes and go trickor- treating, their peers in Kuwait and most of the eastern parts of the Gulf region have their own version through Ramadan’s ‘Girgean’ festivity.

Though both custom might seem similar on the surface, Girgean is more connected with the religious spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan when Muslims fast from dawn until dusk. Girgean — which dates back hundreds of years and comes in the middle of Ramadan — more or less maintains and follows the same patterns and rituals despite the passage of time.

As in the old days and after breaking fast, boys and girls would wear traditional garments and clothing before heading out with their colorful and neatly designed pouches to gather all the candy and sweets that they could possibly carry.

Heading out to a number of neighborhoods and door-todoor, children would have to sing some traditional songs to attain their ultimate prize whether it was candy, and if lucky, some money.

While some maintain this tradition of heading out into what seems like an endless open world for children, much like other festivities, Girgean nowadays had attained a rather commercial vibe and that is evident in the lavish advertisements promoting Girgeanrelated products and the huge festivities held in malls and alike venues. It would be interesting to see whether Girgean continues to evolve throughout the years, but one thing is for certain, the activity would forever remain an integral part of Ramadan’s tradition in Kuwait and elsewhere in the region.

By Sara Al-Mukhaizeem

This news has been read 11126 times!

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