Children’s Games in and around Bahrain’s Springs
Husain Mohammad Husain (Bahrain)
Bahrain is known for its many natural springs both under the sea and on land. Historically, Bahrain’s prosperity has been attributed to its fresh water, which has always been an important reason for people to settle in the area.
Humans have inhabited Bahrain for a very long time, and they have depended mainly on spring water since the beginning of peaceful settlements on the islands of Bahrain.
The springs in Bahrain seem to have been important since ancient times, as archaeological excavations indicate that inhabitants dating back to the Dilmun civilization built temples, such as Barbar Temple and Diraz Temple, near the springs. It is also believed that there was a temple on Abu Zaidan spring.
The people of that era used the springs to purify, bless and cleanse their bodies, because they believed in the sanctity of spring water.
For hundreds of years, Bahrain has been known for its springs, which distinguish Bahrain from other Arabian countries.
The natural springs flowed generously until the third decade of the 20th century when people began drawing water from springs and wells. There was a frenzied rush to dig wells, which reduced the flow of water from the springs and polluted the springs with seawater. A few decades later, the springs dried up.
The springs were used to irrigate plants, but the springs were also associated with other activities that have become part of Bahraini culture and heritage.
Many in the older generations still remember the games children played in and around the springs.
Bahrain’s springs and the areas around them were the site of a number of children’s games until the 1980’s.
The games can be categorized as games played in the springs and as games played near the springs.