Culture

Qaranqashoh


Qaranqashoh is a traditional ceremony carried out by children in the evening of the middle of Ramadan.
Qaranqasho is the name used in Muscat Governorate, South Batinah Governorate, and North Batinah Governorate. In Dakhiliah Governorate, this tradition is also called Toq Toq, whereas it is called al-talmees in Dhahirah Governorate.  As for Musandam Governorate, a similar tradition takes place on certain days of the year, not limited to the middle of Ramadan. Al-Hayloolah, as named in Musandam, usually takes place before or after sunset, on the 27th of Rajab or the night of the 15th day, the middle of Ramadan, and the day of Arafah. A similar custom celebrated in Sur in the middle of Shaban called al-Shabaniah.
In this social event, children in Oman and around the Gulf celebrate Qaranqasho by wearing traditional costumes and going door-to-door through their neighbourhoods singing songs and collecting sweets and halwa. In the past, children used to carry shells and beat them against each other while chanting. “Qaranqasho” is said to resemble the sound of the crashing shells. This celebration started as a way to reward children for successfully fasting for the first half of the month, and to encourage them to continue through the second half. It continues to be a beloved tradition throughout. Children, in this tradition, sing inherited rhythms such as Qaranqasho yo nas, atona shwayat halwah (Oh people, Qaranqasho time, give us some sweets), followed by doos doos fi almandoos, hara hara fi a’sahara, almost meaningless but pleasant rhyme to urge housekeepers to give out sweets. Accordingly, the house residents give out some Omani sweets or money to the children. In return, the children will sing another song praising them. 


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