Generally, the Persian Gulf region was an international path for different nations and races. Many people of Sam, Ham and Aram decencies flowed to the region but it is still unknown who were the first people settled in it although it was proved that mankind existed in this region since the Stone Ages.
Over the centuries, people from diverse invading armies remained and settled in the region. Then, during the latest eras, it was full with various Arab tribes of Adnan and Qahtan decencies who came from AlHijaz region and mingled with its first inhabitants.
This miscegenation had weakened the tribal affiliation tradition and had replaced it with family tradition. That resulted in a hold together society and attracted people to civil life; therefore, the tribal and nomadic phenomenon vanished gradually. Moreover, feudality and classism in which landholders controlled the peasants had totally disappeared.
The social relationships were and are still controlled by customs and traditions that were passed through generations over the years. Traditions of Qatif region are almost the same of other Gulf communities and they represent the inherited Arab traditions.
However, social institutions have an effective role in promoting the society’s cultural field by holding traditional and folkloric activities and festivals. One of these festivals, which are celebrated in Qatif and AlAhssa, is “AlQurqay’an” or “AlGraigshon” in half of Sha’aban and Ramadhan months, every year. This festival is celebrated in several Gulf States according to their heritage and traditions.
In the past, AlQurqay’an was a small event in which children used to step by the close houses and knock their doors to get candies and peanuts which is regionally known as “Seksabal” or “Sabal”. Then, the children turn back to their homes glad with what they got. Maybe AlQurqay’an term was derived from “Qar’a”; knocking, and others believe that it was derived from “Qurrat Ayen”; the delight of the eye, because it brings happiness to children which pleased their mothers.
Nowadays, many things in this festival have changed, and many programs are added to it like literary and cultural evenings and folkloric exhibitions, besides the children’s strolling between houses which is still done since decades till nowadays.
Furthermore, people of Qatif region celebrate diverse religious events which are related to birth and death anniversaries of Shiite Imams. One of these events is “Ashoura’”; the tenth day of Muharam, in which sadness overwhelms the region because of Imam AlHusain martyrdom anniversary. In this event, many activities and cultural programs are conducted and various consolation processions marches are made in this occasion. As for birth anniversaries, people switch on the lights of their houses and streets, and celebrate this occasion by reading the leaders’ and religious figures’ history and way of life in delightful way.