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Sunday, October 31, 2010

the "trick or treat" of the gulf arabic states


Just sipping some boring Lipton tea lol, what **tea** would you like to be served now? It better be something more exciting! :-P

Although Halloween has just passed, I have just bumped into a blog post written by one of our fellow **Tea Mates**, sparklydatepalm, where she wrote about trick-or-treat in Halloween and its similar counterpart, minus the "scary" costumes, in Gulf Arabic countries. This celebration is known by many names and in where I come from, which is the Emirates, it is known as "Hag el Leilah" (which is literally translated into: "for the night" or "the right of the night"). Her post really reminded me of home and made me think about why it didn't even occur to me to write about it here when Halloween was just yesterday?

In the Islamic calender, Hag el Leilah tends to be celebrated in the month of Sha'ban right before the holy month in which we Muslims fast called Ramadan. Honestly, as a person who was born in a city (in Dubai), I must admit that there isn't much that I know about this tradition aside from the idea that children wear their traditional clothes and collect sweets from door to door (kinda like trick-or-treat lol) and as they do so, chant a prayer which is more accurately described in the link to the article about Hag el Leilah which just shared above.

Also because I was born in a city and lived most of my life in apartments where our neighbors were primarily expatriates, I didn't quite experience this tradition. If I really could say that I've "experienced" this tradition in any way, it was more in the form of fellow classmates or teachers in our school distributing candy in pouches or creatively designed bags which we'd snack from in our bus trip home.

At the end of this post, I've posted a video of an ad about this celebration which I guess would give you an idea about the kind of ambiance in the traditional manner of celebrating it.  

WARNING: before playing this video, please please pause the background music by scrolling down to find the Ipod gadget on the right hand side of the blog and clicking on the pause button so that you can experience this video to the fullest!! :-P

From your Tea Mate,
Reema B. :-)


  1. مبروك على بيت جديد

    Hopefully my spelling and grammar isn't so bad you don't understand what I meant above!

  2. @sparklydatepalm: Thanks! hahaha the spelling's right but there's just one small mistake which I can't show you 'cause my mac doesn't have an Arabic keyboard :-(