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Kuwait celebrates girgian after two-year halt over coronavirus

KUWAIT: The celebration of “Girgian”, where people give children candy and nuts in mid-Ramadan month is back after two years of halting due to the coronavirus. Girgian is an old tradition celebrated in Kuwait and all Gulf countries in Ramadan, however, each country celebrates the festival differently. In Kuwait, children wear traditional colorful clothing, walking in groups in their area’s streets and knocking on doors to sing some traditional songs and receive candy. The boys’ songs are different from what the girls sing for the occasion.

Kuwaiti folklore researcher Adel Al-Saadoun.

In this context, Kuwaiti folklore researcher Adel Al-Saadoun said that in old Kuwait, mothers used to sew special bags for boys, that can be hanged on the neck and tied around the chest to put the candy in. The girls used to wear the “bukhnag”, which is a black and gold head cover, along with a special bag to keep the candy. The boys would also wear the traditional Kuwaiti clothes “dishdasha” while collecting candy, and they would also carry drums and empty boxes to create some noise while they sing the girgian songs, he noted.

Saadoun said that nowadays, girgian celebration has some exaggeration as people distribute luxurious chocolates and nuts in big parties for both children and adults. Some people also include perfumes and bukhoor “incense” in their girgian for adults, he added. Meanwhile, housewife Hanaa Al-Wuhaib said that girgian lost its simplicity these days, as families started planning huge parties with different ideas for presentation even before Ramadan starts. People started exaggerating even in their clothing or the kind of expensive candy they give, as well as booking ballrooms for the celebration. – KUNA

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