It was a rather simple process which included some little fights, funny incidents, intimidation and kids snatching away each other’s bags of girgian

Girgian is one of the traditions we have inherited from our ancestors. It is known in other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states including Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in different names. It is also well-known in Iraq, and for the people in the Ahwaz and Al-Ahsa regions. It is usually celebrated on the 13th, 14th and 15th day of Ramadan with special songs; boys and girls going from door to door in special traditional costumes singing to get treats of candies and mixed nuts, and sometimes some small coins (50 or 100 fils) hidden within the mixture.

Boys usually sing different songs than those sung by girls expressing wishes for long healthy lives for those in each house they visit. In ancient Kuwait, these groups used to move from Jebla (Qebla) to Sharq and vice versa. They sometimes went to Merqab. It was a rather simple process which included some little fights, funny incidents, intimidation and kids snatching away each other’s bags of girgian.

The entire scene was so impulsive, and clear of an exaggerations. Gergean is a nice tradition we ought to protect and keep. It is loved by both citizens and residents. Unfortunately, this tradition is being followed with a great deal of exaggeration and show off. Some people overburden themselves to provide five-star gergean. They would have special boxes custommade for them and fill them with the finest brands of chocolate, candy and nuts. Some even put some money or golden pounds in the box.

Many new things are happening during girgian where one sees Asian and African housemaids leading groups of kids dressed in the finest clothes and most expensive jewelry, which is too dangerous. Girgian is rather a simple process to bring joy to children without any exaggeration. It also has no origin in Islam and, thus, we should not overdo it. It would be more than enough to get a kid a girgian bag for only 750 fils and not KD 1,750 just to brag and show off. —Translated by Kuwait Times

By Yousif Abdul-Rahman