Muscat: With the Holy Month of Ramadan soon to reach the halfway mark, Monday, the 20th of May, marks a special occasion for every child in the Sultanate of Oman.
Qaranqasho, a traditional celebration that takes place on the night before the 15th day in Oman, is a day reserved specially for children. On this day, they wear traditional costumes, sign songs and collect candy from adults.
If you are accosted by a gaggle of happy, smiling, gleeful Omanis on Monday, do indulge them...they are children after all.
Stock up on change
“Qaranqasho is a special day for children,” said an Omani national living in Muscat. “We celebrate this day for them and we give them money, toys, some sweets, small things that they will enjoy. It is a fun day for them and they will use this money you give them to buy sweets.”
With Ramadan being the season of giving and generosity, do head to the banks and collect a few Rials’ worth of change. That way, when the kids come to you expecting a little something, you’ve got a bit of cash ready for them.
Keep some candy at home **media**
It’s not uncommon to see children knock on doors either – much like the celebrations during Halloween. No trick or treat here, though, just treats.
With there being plenty of offers on sweets this Ramadan, now would be the best time to grab a few share bags of chocolate and candy, fling them into a bowl, mix ‘em up and offer them to children who will leave your home far happier than when they came in a few minutes ago.
It’s all about the children **media**
Qaranqasho is a day organised to honour and celebrate the little ones, so it might not be a bad idea to ask them where they want to go have iftar that evening. Perhaps there’s a special meal or a particular restaurant the kids have wanted to go to for a long time?
Maybe there’s something else that interests them. With this year’s Qaranqasho falling on a weekday, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to make the weekend about them. Asking your little ones what they want to do is sure to make them feel more included as family members, and is sure to keep them happy for a long time.
What’s on in Oman?
Quite a few corporate outlets do have special rates for Qaranqasho.
The Museum of Illusions for example, on Sunday evening, have a special rate from 7pm to 1am, where kids can enter for just OMR2, and receive plenty of giveaways from the museum.
“Celebrating the beloved tradition “Qaranqasho” at Museum of Illusions, Muscat on 19th May, Sunday,” said the museum. “Pass by with your kids and share this special moment with us between 7:00PM to 1:00AM!”
Over at City Centre Muscat and Qurum, annual Qaranqasho celebrations will be held in both malls from 9-10pm. A statement from Majid Al Futtaim said: The City Centres invite families with children to arrive dressed in their best traditional clothes and take part in the festivities. There will be interactive entertainment for the entire family, including a puppet show, a performer in a giant balloon and chair balancing acts at City Centre Muscat. Visitors at City Centre Qurum will be mesmerised with cut head illusion show and a cocoon and LED lights roaming entertainment.
MAF added: “During the Holy Month, the Sultanate’s much-loved shopping destinations will also have collection boxes at key locations for shoppers to donate essential items, such as wearable clothing, toys, books and non-perishable food items, for those less fortunate. The collected goods will be distributed to those in need by charity organisation Dar Al Atta’a.”