Sharjah/Dubai: During the past weeks various centres and Departments across Dubai and Sharjah celebrated Hag Al Lailah or Gergei’an (The mid of Sha’aban celebration), in preparation for the arrival of the Holy month of Ramadan.
Hag Al Lailah, is a traditional event celebrated in some of the GCC countries including the UAE, where dresses in traditional clothes, visit their neighbours in groups after Asr prayer until sunset, chanting folkloric songs that are special to the occasion and collecting sweets, nuts and coins in their bags — almost like Halloween’s trick or treat.
Children would say ‘Atoona Hag Al Lailah’, which means “Give us sweets for tonight”, when they knock.
Hag Al Lailah is celebrated annually in mid-Sha’aban, the eighth lunar month, by people in preparation for the arrival of Ramadan two weeks later.
Sharjah Media Centre, Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah Municiplaity, Sharjah Ladies Club, Children’s city Dubai, Dubai Women Establishment and Dubai Ladies Club were just some of the locations where Hag Al Lailah activities took place this past week.
Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, underlined the importance of instilling the spirit of culture and heritage in the youth, in order to keep future generations connected to their roots.
The festivities varied at the different locations, but the main theme of heritage and giving ran through them all. The celebrations involved trivia questions about the UAE’s culture and heritage, taking of photographs with traditional cartoon characters, short skits and dances, traditional Emirati food and handicrafts, as well as bags full of candy and nuts that were handed over to the attendees.
The audience entertained during the events included children from the Social Care Homes for Children, Al Theqa Club for the Handicapped, Social Empowerment Foundation, The Elderly Centre, Bait Al Khair Society,Youth Centres, the Emirates Scouts Society, Urban Heritage Society in Dubai, Takatuf, and Folklore House.