By Zahraa Hussain
Manama, Apr. 13 (BNA): The holy month of Ramadan comes with its blessings and joy. And nothing speaks joy and festivity more than 'Gergaoon', a Ramadan tradition cherished by the young and celebrated with fanfare by their families.
Streets and neighborhoods in the Kingdom shine with colorful lights and decorations as children wander from house to house asking for treats in their traditional ensembles.
'Gergaoon' is celebrated every year on the 14th night of Ramadan throughout the Gulf countries.
This joyous occasion is celebrated with children singing melodic music from door to door and collecting candies and treats into their decorated bags. This deeply rooted tradition has been celebrated for hundreds of years in different parts of the Gulf region to reward Muslim children for fasting.
The sweets are known as Gergaoon in Bahrain, and under other names throughout the Gulf such as Karkee’aan in Saudi Arabia, Gargee’aan in Kuwait, and Hag Al Leylah in the UAE.
Girls wear rich, colorful, embroidered jalabiyas and gold jewelry, while boys are adorned in traditional Bahraini thobes, jackets, and caps. Both embrace the tradition and costumes proudly.
Sweets and treats are the children's main anticipation of the night. Historically, children were given dates, rice, wheat, and sugar. Nowadays, youngsters indulge themselves in candies and nuts.
Gergaoon was marked simply in the past in villages and neighborhoods. Nowadays, Gergaoon is celebrated all over by kids and adults as well through extravagant arrangements, events and celebrations all over the kingdom.
This joyful occasion brings family and friends together to play games and celebrate to traditional music. Many teenagers and adults will dress up as Fraysa or the horseman to wander the neighborhood, sing Gergaoun songs and beat traditional drums.
“Gergaoon is a nationwide tradition that is here to remind us of our simpler roots," Ameena, a Bahraini mother, said.
"We enjoy dressing up our children with traditional outfits as they wander from door to door asking for sweets. It takes me back to how we grew up, and it delights us to see it pass on to our own young ones."
This deep-rooted celebration introduces children to their traditional roots and brings them closer together, and their togetherness honors one of the true values of Ramadan - Unity.