Two more weeks before Ramadan ♥♥♥

Children and Plastic Bags and Doorbells…Oh My!

Yesterday my doorbell was ringing continuously and I was caught off guard for a yearly tradition celebrated by children here in the UAE.

Every 15th of Sha’aban after the Asr prayer and before the Magrib prayer, you will most likely hear the doorbell ring many, many times.  If you answer it you will find a group of children yell “Garga’an!” once you open your gate.  They will all be holding out bags to be filled with some treats.  If you are caught off guard you can always give money.

I don’t know how this tradition originated.  As far as I know only the locals (Emiratis) celebrate this little celebration.  I don’t even know if it is celebrated in Saudi Arabia or the other Gulf States.

Back in the old days little cloth bags would be sewn just for this occasion but nowadays I rarely see the cloth bags anymore.  They are replaced with the plastic shopping bags mostly from the local Co-op.  Most Emirati homes will stock up on treats of candy, chips, box juice, nuts, and money.  The children will go door-to-door and greet the owner of the house with “Garga’an!”

Driving through the neighborhood yesterday, I would see small children (under 12s) walking around and usually accompanied by their housemaids.  The children were happy and possessively dragging their bags which were all heavy-looking and overflowing with goodies.

I saw a few stragglers out and about today too but no one came ringing my doorbell.

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