DOHA: Katara’s Garangao celebration on Saturday attracted a record 68,220 visitors, including children and families, of different nationalities. Last year, Katara received 20,000 visitors.
Katara General Manager, Dr Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti, expressed happiness in realising the record number of participants and said it reflected confidence people have in events organised by Katara.
For over six hours, activities were held in collaboration with institutions, including Supreme Education Council and Mövenpick Tower & Suites Doha. They introduced traditional heritage and culture of Ramadan to children, who came dressed in traditional and colourful outfits.
Dr Al Sulaiti said the festive night came in line with the spiritual atmosphere of Ramadan and cultural aims of Katara.
Garangao has its festival character based on its social and cultural distinctiveness, he said.
“The celebration of this night enhances Arab cultural identity which is transferred to the new generation and this will remain in their memory besides the happiness it brings to children,” he said.
Activities started at Katara Amphitheatre, and then moved to Building 12 where children and their families enjoyed competitions and entertainment and received gifts. Henna, handicraft and art as well as traditional food and games were among those that delighted visitors.
Besides, Doha Film Institute and Education Above All screened Pascal Plisson’s documentary On the Way to School at Katara Drama Theatre.
The showing of a short film on Garangao in Qatar in Building 16 also attracted a large number of children and families.
A children’s library to teach kids how to organise books and prepare library cards and photo albums was also held. Abdulrahman Al Marri, a Qatari who came with his four children, said “The celebration was joyful and reflected the tradition of our forefathers, which is very important to maintain amid cultural influences.”
Abu Mohammad Ansari, a Saudi, admired the way the celebration was organized and how it was easy for children to move from one place to another as they participated in activities.
Garangao night also aimed at reminding Katara visitors of the heritage GCC countries share.
It is a traditional event marked in the GCC every 14th day of Ramadan. The name of the night varies from one country to another. In the UAE, it is ‘Haq Allayla’, in Oman ‘Al Tulba’, in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait ‘Al Karkayat’ while in Qatar and Bahrain it is called ‘Garangao..’