Today I will talk about an annual traditional custom that is celebrated during the holy month of Ramadan and last for about 3 days. This event is called Kerkien. It is said that Kerkien means knocking doors since kids knock doors for candy and other good on this occasion. And others say the it means the apple of our eye and this also makes since because they mean kids with this naming which they are the most important in this occasion. Kerkien is a traditional custom of all gulf countries that includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Emirates, Qatar, Oman, east of Saudi Arabia (because the east region of Saudi Arabia is very much influenced by other gulf countries), even Iraq and some parts of Iran. I have tried looking up some information on why is it we celebrate such even but I could not find the answer. During this occasion people get very exited, kids start thinking of what to wear, big companies start making commercials celebrating Kerkien, stores hang Kerkien decorations, etc.
This is a commercial done by McDonalds in celebration of Kerkien. It shows how kids are knocking on doors singing for a treat I found it to be really interesting that an American fast food restaurant is celebrating a cultural event in the middle east.This video also features the traditional song of Kerkien.
This is another commercial about Kerkien that encourages older people to be part of Kerkien because after all it is not limited to children.
Let me tell you what I know about this, when Kerkien time comes people who have newborns at their house they plan a Kerkien at their house. Children and parents are invited to attend. In an in house Kerkien the host should have an all-traditional food on the table and all the sweets that are being served suppose to be authentic as well. Kids and parents must wear al traditional clothes to this occasion it is weird to not do so. The highlight of this occasion is when the host brings their newborn and put him/her in the middle and have all the kids around the newborn and start singing to the newborn the Kerkien song. Then the host starts tossing candy, nuts, money, and sometimes gold coins on the newborn, but being carful of course. The children then start gathering what ever hits the ground putting it all in their bags.
As for people who do not have newborns to celebrate Kerkien for, they dress their kids in traditional clothing and go door to door asking for candy and other goods after singing a song for their newborn or the youngest person of the house.
So in a way Kerkien is much like the Arabian version Halloween with a cultural twist to it.Wouldn’t you say so?