JEDDAH: Each year before the holy month begins, women in Saudi Arabia dress up their homes with the trendiest Ramadan-themed decorations.
Samer Musa, a Ramadan decoration shop owner in Al-Balad, told Arab News that demand has skyrocketed this year, following the pandemic.
“Usually, demand begins to reach its peak two weeks prior to Ramadan, but since there are fewer social distancing restrictions this year, sales started to increase significantly a month ago,” he said.
Popular decoration items include lanterns of varying sizes and colors, twinkle lights, crescent moons, textile products like the “shkaly,” a vintage printed fabric with a distinctive bright pink rose, and “khayamiya,” a fabric bearing geometric and curvilinear arabesque patterns.
Musa said that the trendiest items this year are “golden metal lanterns, printed cushions and retro Egyptian cartoon figures such as Bakkar, Buji, Tamtam, and others.”
Trendiest items this year are golden metal lanterns, printed cushions and retro Egyptian cartoon figures such as Bakkar, Buji, Tamtam, and others.
Samer Musa, Shop owner in Al-Balad
Decorations can be bought online or from stores such as CenterPoint, IKEA, SACO, and Al Hadaya Center, which have separate sections for Ramadan-themed party items and decorations.
Nema Fadhel, a mother of five and a collector of Ramadan lanterns, said that she prepares her Ramadan decorations two months in advance.
“I have a collection of 15 lanterns, and the collection is still growing. Usually, I bring them from Egypt and Jordan and stores like Al Hadaya Center as well as Al-Balad as they offer the best trending collections of lanterns, twinkle lights, straw baskets and candles. To guarantee getting a unique lantern, I order from Instagram shops,” she said.
In addition to bringing a cheerful atmosphere to the home, Ramadan decorations motivate kids to stick to their fasting, Fadhel said.
“I make sure to make some decorations from scratch with my kids. It is a way to instill the love of this month within them, and it helps us as parents to familiarize them with the concept of fasting,” Fadhel said.
“Gargee’an” is another common Ramadan celebration in some Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia. The festive event, which takes place on the 15th night of the Islamic month of Sha’ban and on the 15th night of Ramadan, requires much in the way of decorating and preparations.
Usually, ladies and kids dress up in Ramadan jalabiyas and distribute Ramadan-themed giveaways and sweets to each other.
With Ramadan just a few days away, Al-Harthi Exhibition Center in Jeddah, which was turned into a COVID-19 vaccination center, opened its doors for the first time since the start of the pandemic two years ago.
Manal Mubarak, one of the visitors, told Arab News: “I like to come here every year, and I am so glad that we can enjoy Ramadan decoration shopping again after two years of pandemic.”
Mubarak has a corner in her living room dedicated to Ramadan decorations.
“I like to renew my Ramadan decoration every year, and this year I am mesmerized by the lanterns, tables and trays at the exhibition center. The cushions also are so beautiful,” she said.
Families can shop the exhibition, open until April 2, for the best Ramadan decorations, clothes and food items, including many Egyptian and local products.