New Year's Day
Date: 1st Jan
Year's Day in Turkey is kind of a surrogate Christmas, with decorations
in shops and the exchange of gifts and greeting cards.
Date: 21st March
ancient Middle Eastern spring festival takes place on March 21. It is
celebrated by Kurds and Alevis by jumping over bonfires.
Date: 29th October
The 29th of October is a national holiday commemorating the proclamation of the republic of Ataturk in 1923.
most important religious and secular holiday of the year, Kurban
Bayrami (Festival of the Sacrifice) is equivalent to the importance of
Christmas to Christians. It takes place two months after Ramazan for
four to five days. Every year during Kurban Bayrami, around four million
cows or rams are sacrificed by every head of a household who can afford
to buy an animal. It is then butchered and the family and friends
prepare a feast. Part of the meat is distributed to the needy, and the
skin is donated to charity. It is wise to be prepared for Kurban
Bayrami: transportation is packed and accommodation, especially in
resort areas, is scarce and expensive. Banks usually close for one week,
although one or two will stay open in large cities to serve foreigners.
Animal-lovers will probably want to give it a miss or very wide birth
as many of the animals are slaughtered in public places, especially in
Date: Between August-September
or Ramadan, consists of a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, and
then feasting from sunset far into the night. Before dawn, drummers
circulate through the towns to awaken those who want to eat before the
sun rises. During Ramazan restaurants may be closed from sunrise to
sunset. Turkey is a relatively liberal Islamic country, hence
Non-Muslims are allowed to eat and drink when they like. In the big
cities, you will find non-fasting Muslims eating beside you. However, in
conservative towns it impolite for anyone (including non-Muslims) to
eat or drink in public during these hours. As a general rule, it is best
to be discreet and take note of your surroundings.
Date: 30th September
called Ramazan Bayrami, Seker Bayrami (Sweet Holiday) is a three day
festival that celebrates the end of Ramazan. It is named so because
during this holiday, children go from door to door asking for sweet
treats. Their elders go visiting and everybody drinks lots of tea. Banks
and offices close, hotels, planes, trains and buses are booked solid.
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