SHARJAH // Tens of orphans, special needs children and senior citizens took part in the traditional festivities of Haq Al Leila on Thursday at Sharjah Maritime Museum.
Haq Al Leila is celebrated about 15 days before the beginning of Ramadan in the month of Shaban.
Emirati Saoud Askar sang with friends the Haq Al Leila song while collecting sweets. “I received so many treats today, and sang along with my friends; it was a very fun day filled with songs and traditional games to welcome Ramadan,” said the 16-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Traditionally, Emirati children go door-to-door in their neighbourhoods collecting sweets, nuts and treats. Haq Al Leila also serves as a reminder that the most sacred month of the year is fast approaching and that people need to prepare for the spiritual period.
Mohammed Al Shamsi said he looks forward for the day every year. “Me and my friends love this day. We have a yearly competition to see who gets more sweets, and compete in ‘Al Ring game’,” said the 14-year-old Al Juraina resident.
A first-time participant in Haq Al Leila, Palestinian Rami Wasim said he learnt a lot. “We painted on coffee cups and watched people dancing and singing on the boat, it was very beautiful, and to top it all, I have so much sweets,” said the 15-year-old.
In addition to the children, older Emiratis were enjoying the chance to meet people and relive the traditions of old.
Tariq Abdullah, who lives in Sharjah’s old people’s home, enjoyed the laughter of children and meeting people.
“This traditional day is filled with joy and happiness, children running around collecting traditional sweets and playing with others,” said the 58-year-old.
“This tradition connects us with our roots and it lets us meet new people and share the joy over a cup of coffee and Luqaimat sweet.”
Sheikha Rashid brought her grandson to learn about UAE traditions. “It’s a very old Emirati tradition, where kids can connect with their community and enjoy traditional sweets as they watch and perform Emirati dances,” she said.
“I want my 2-year-old grandson Rashid to be rooted in our customs and traditions from an early age.”
Source: uae news