Turkey is a unique country that is bursting with a plethora of culturally enlightening experiences. Its archaeological sites, historic landmarks and traditional customs are teeming with wonder.
The Turkish people are friendly and delighted to share their magical treasure trove with travellers. There are a range of holidays in turkey to suit all interests and budgets.
New Year’s Day
The first day of the year is a big holiday in many countries. However, New Year’s Day in Turkey is only a small part of the country’s festive calendar.
Turkish New Year’s celebrations are usually organized for family and friends. In Istanbul, for example, people gather at the Taksim Square to watch fireworks, and then celebrate the New Year with their loved ones.
Fireworks start at midnight, and everyone starts shouting happy new year (mutlu yillar) in unison. Then, people exchange gifts and greet each other with New Year greeting cards.
Shop front displays in Turkey get a makeover around this time of year. Lacy red knickers and skimpy red underpants are often displayed as it is believed wearing them at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the entire year.
In addition, Turks believe that if you walk around briskly after midnight it will bring you good fortune. This is especially true if you are planning to travel, move or relocate this coming year.
Another interesting Turkish tradition is to break open a pomegranate and spread its kernels on your doorstep come midnight. This will ensure wealth and abundance for the next year.
Alternatively, some Turks also sprinkle salt on their doorways for good luck. They also believe that unlocking a padlock will bring them wealth in the coming year.
Some families even change their television stations to watch the national lottery that is broadcast live on state-run TV. These are popular among Turkish people, and the winning ticket can be worth up to TL 200 million this year!
The Eid al-Adha holiday is a major holiday for Muslim people all over the world. It marks the end of Ramadan, which is a period of fasting and religious observation for Muslims.
According to the Islamic calendar, the date of this celebration varies from year to year, but it always falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah. This year, it will fall on 9 July in most countries.
It celebrates a story in the Qur’an about the willingness of Abraham (known in Islam as Ibraham) to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, in obedience to a command from God. Unlike the Christian account, which names Isaac as the son to be sacrificed, Muslims believe that Ishmael was the only son of Abraham, and that he was chosen by God for this purpose.
During the holiday, Muslims sacrifice an animal like a cow or sheep and give a portion of its meat to those who are hungry. This is a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to God, and a way to show respect for Allah.
Another important tradition is to share food with family and friends on this holiday. It is also common to give charity on this occasion, demonstrating the importance of Zakat (charity) in Islam.
In Turkey, Eid al-Adha is also a time for Turkish people to visit their parents, relatives and friends, strengthening the bonds between them and passing on moral and traditional values to future generations. It is also an opportunity to congratulate and wish each other well.
In addition, many people spend a few days off on vacation during this holiday. This is a great opportunity to see the country’s natural wonders and discover its unique beaches and landscapes.
Labor and Solidarity Day
Labor and Solidarity Day, also known as May Day, is a holiday in most countries that celebrates the achievements of the labor movement. It is celebrated on the first Monday of May and is observed with a public holiday in over 80 countries.
Some Turkish people participate in demonstrations on Labor and Solidarity Day to demand better conditions for skilled labourers and union workers, or protest the government’s policies. Others prefer to use the day off to relax and spend time with friends and relatives.
The holiday is a national one and banks, schools and some government offices are closed on this day, although many shops and supermarkets remain open. It is important to be aware that some street demonstrations can be violent and visitors should avoid these areas.
On May 1st, a large number of trade unions and political parties commemorate the holiday in the larger cities. In Istanbul, the Governor’s Office banned celebrations in Taksim Square, but police allowed labor unions to lay wreaths on the Republic Monument and make press statements in small groups.
While the holiday is a good opportunity for workers to gather together, it has had its fair share of tragic events over the years. The most infamous was in 1977, when hundreds of thousands of people held a mass demonstration in Taksim Square and someone opened fire on the crowd. A stampede ensued, killing 34 people.
Despite its bad reputation, Labor and Solidarity Day is still an important holiday in Turkey. Most people will take the day off work to celebrate with their families. In some parts of the country, workers will join in parades organized by local organizations.
Commemoration of Ataturk
The Commemoration of Ataturk is a national holiday that takes place on May 19th. It commemorates the arrival of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in Samsun on May 1919, which is regarded as the beginning of Turkey’s War of Independence.
It is a public holiday, and most businesses, schools, and government buildings are closed on this day. However, there are many different activities to enjoy.
During this holiday, there are state ceremonies and sports events held all over the country. This is one of the most important holidays in Turkey, and it is a chance to show your support for the country’s independence.
Ataturk was a revolutionary leader who fought for the independence of Turkey. He was born in Salonika (now Greek Thessaloniki), and he was an officer in the Ottoman army.
He was an accomplished soldier and a great leader. He fought for Turkey’s independence and helped to transform the country into a modern, thriving nation.
On this day, people across the country hang Turkish flags in their houses and attend concerts, agoras and parades. They also recite poems and sing the national anthem.
Most people also visit the mausoleum of Ataturk in Ankara, and they will lay wreaths there. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will also be there to greet the crowds and congratulate them on the occasion.
This holiday is very popular among young people, as they can take part in a wide range of sporting and cultural events. They can compete in half-marathons, football tournaments and other competitions. It’s also a great opportunity for them to learn about the history of Turkey and their country’s independence.
Youth & Sports Day
Youth & Sports Day is a national holiday in Turkey that is celebrated on May 19th each year. The holiday is dedicated to the country’s youth and features state ceremonies and sports events throughout the country.
The day is also considered to be the birthday of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic. He arrived in Samsun on May 19th 1919 to organize the War of Independence that saw modern Turkey take shape four years later.
On this day, people hang Turkish flags from their homes, attend concerts and participate in sports activities. During the holiday, most schools and businesses are closed.
Many people also celebrate the holiday by visiting museums and other historical sites to learn about the history of Turkey. They also visit monuments and cemeteries to honor Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Ataturk, who was an inspector of the Ninth Army Troops Inspectorate, broke his orders and organized a popular uprising against the decision of World War I allies to divide many territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire between them. This was a key turning point in Turkey’s history, and the nation became an independent nation as a result.
To commemorate the day, young Turkish athletes carry a Turkish flag from Samsun, where Ataturk started the War of Independence in 1919, to Ankara. This marathon usually lasts for about 10 days, and once in Ankara, the President accepts the flag.
In Ankara, the country’s capital, a group of the youth visited the resting place of Ataturk and laid wreaths. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also attended a meeting with the youth and a concert. He said the day was a day of joy and unity among all Turks, and that it was an opportunity for all citizens to remember their country’s heritage and to appreciate Ataturk’s contributions.