Children join vibrant ‘Hag Al Laila’ celebrations at Sharjah Heritage Dayswith traditional songs,sweets andgames

Sharjah, March 28, 2021

The voices of young children singing ‘Atoona Hag Al Laila’ or ‘Give us sweets for tonight’, resonated throughout the Heart of Sharjah yesterday (Saturday), where the 18thSharjah Heritage Days marked the occasion of the annual Hag Al Laila with sweets, games, and several fun activities.

A centuries-old traditional Emirati celebration, Hag Al Laila is observedon the night of the 15thof Sha’ban, the hijri month preceding the Holy Month of Ramadan. On this night, children go door-to-door in the neighbourhood and sing songs while collecting sweets and treats.

At the Heart of Sharjah, children dressed in traditional attire thronged the Children’s Village at SHD where colourful handwoven baskets filled with assorted varieties of candies, peanuts, chocolate sticks, and little juice bottles, were lined up. The young participants were delighted to fill up their goodie bags – each bearing their name in distinctive Arabic calligraphy – with the sweets of their choice.

Children engaged in several games including hopscotch, blindfolded painting, and basketball, while also learning about the nation’s pearling heritage through a game that challenged them to discover pearls in oysters.

Live cooking sessions, storytelling and watching old children’s movies completed the festive atmosphere at the Children’s Village which was decked up in colourful Ramadan décor.

For children and adults alike, the Hag Al Laila celebrations at Sharjah Heritage Days, raised greater awareness of the annual cultural practice and enabled members of the community to bond with each other.