By Ra’al al Jardaniya — The state of Qatar, as many other Arab and Islamic countries, celebrate Ramadhan in many different ways, as can be seen in their local tradition and customs in all levels. They prepare many religious programmes which are composed of discussions and speeches throughout the month that add to their Islamic knowledge.
The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs recently organised an informative programme that explains how people should spend their time during the fasting month and how equally important it is to work hard, apart from doing good deeds, worship and charity.
The people’s relationship with mosques and prayers has increased significantly this month and religious places are crowded with worshippers, Quran readers and people who come to listen to lectures and lessons by imams.
Another Ramadhan scene in Qatar is the preparing of food. The crowds in the markets are noticeably large in numbers, especially during the last week before Ramadhan, Mohammed al Hazza, Third Secretary at the Embassy of Qatar, says.
It can be noted that in
places around Qatar people spread tables, especially for people who break their fast in the mosques and in the headquarters of associations, where the benefactors of the country and the charities organise different varieties of food, specially prepared during Ramadhan for the poor, apart from the foreign workers in the state.
These charities provide various services for the tired fasters that include the helping of worshippers during the prayers as well as the distribution of water and beverages after the fasting is over.
During Ramadhan the importance of the relations between family and friends is emphasised through renewed meetings and visits to each other’s houses, apart from the distribution of sweets and goodwill which help in strengthening the bonds between them. They meet around the table to break their fast, and say Al Taraweeh prayers together, Mohammed adds.
What distinguishes Ramadhan in Qatar is the
tradition of breaking fast through the firing of the cannon which you can hear only during the fasting days, in addition to Al Qaranqasho celebration on the 14th day of Ramadhan.
On this day children wear their colourful dresses and
visit their neighbours singing traditional Qatari songs. The children are rewarded by candy and nuts from their neighbours.
The traditional food, which is mainly served during Ramadhan in Qatar are Al Thareed, which is bread mixed with vegetables and meats or chicken soup, Al Madhrooba which is a kind of grain cooked in a special way and mixed with pieces of chicken and vegetables, and Al Harees. The main Qatari sweet dishes are Al Khanfroosh, Sagoo, and Loqaymat.
During the last ten days of Ramadhan, Qatari people start to prepare for Eid celebration. They are keen to perform Eid prayers in private spaces which are specially organised for this purpose or in the mosques in the places where these spaces are not available.
One of the usual habits after Eid prayers is that the children come out of their houses to collect what they call ‘Al Eidiyyah’, which is a gift consisting of small amounts of money given to the children on Eid days. Also during Eid days the Qataris exchange visits and greet each other wearing new clothes and jewellery.