Children were delighted to get bags of gifts as Emirati families and Muslim expatriates across the UAE gathered together on Tuesday on the eve of Hag Al Laila, the 15th day of the Shaaban month that precedes the Holy Month of Ramadan. More than a thousand residents participated in Tuesday’s Mid-Shaaban Tent Event at the Sharjah Aquarium, whose highlights were competitions in traditional Al Youla dance, storytelling of how the traditional chocolate Bormeit and Lous were made in the past on Hag Al Laila for the kids, presentation of Sinbad and reliving the traditions of the old days of the emirate. An initiative of the Sharjah Museums, the event was jointly hosted by the Sharjah Aquarium and Sharjah Maritime Museum, which were both open to the public for free just before the start of the event at 6pm. Rashid Al Shamsi, head of the Museums Operations, told Khaleej Times that families and children took home small bags of sweets and toys to relive the traditions of Hag Al Laila. “We also gave prizes to those who answer the question-and-answer portion of the programme that focuses on the culture and traditions of the UAE,” he said. Competitions were held among students, scouts and youth centres in categories like the best traditional attire, traditional studio - hospitality tent Al Barzah for the elderly, traditional games, traditional songs and traditional food on Wednesday. Ibrahim Taj, principal of Khalid bin Mohammed School, said his students would compete in the school category by coming up with a model tent where the traditional clothing and goods were displayed. Abrar Ibrahim, 14, said that their tent displayed traditional goods and ornaments used by olden times. “We have traditional burqa, kandoora and mokawara for women. For men, we have kandoora and Beshet.” Ali Jassim, 14, said that he carried the traditional kandar and hawie for water, and dalo for milk, which were among the household wares used many years back. Noura Mohammed, 17, said the scouts to which she belonged, made presentations specially for the children. Special needs people were seen in their wheelchairs assisted by their loved ones. Everyone received sweets and nuts in pouches and in small boxes of gifts. Cartoon characters and representatives of government offices distributed the sweets and gifts. Adil Karam, scout leader, and Obaid bin Sandal, representative of the old Emirati generation, led the discussion on Emirati culture and tradition over cups of traditional Arabic coffee.