Holidays and Festivals in Turkey

Holidays and Festivals in Turkey


In Turkey, these are of three kinds: national secular, national religious, and local. Since religious holidays are dependent on the lunar calendar, the day they fall on varies from year to year. Local festivals are often dependent upon the harvest, the weather, or the moon, and as such it is difficult to predict exact dates. For specific dates of a given festival, contact the town’s tourist office. If you anticipate traveling in a town or region during festival time, check ahead on accommodations, since hotels and pensions in many towns can fill up quickly. For more specific information about the holidays, see the appropriate city section.

Turkey’s religious holidays, festivals, and traditions are sometimes overwhelming for travelers. Ramadan, which occurs during a different one-month period every year, is a time of fasting for observant Muslims (The Five Pillars of Islam). Though tourists are not expected to comply with the holiday, it is important to remember that this is, the holiest month of the year for many Turks, and that respect for their customs is imperative. If you’re in Turkey during Ramadan, be aware that many restaurants are closed. In those that are open, the clientele will he largely foreign. It is advisable that you not drink, eat, or smoke cigarettes on the street until sunset. Oruç tutmak (fasting) is a test of faith, and it is considered disrespectful to tempt the faithful in this way. At sundown, Ramazan pidesi, a special, dense flatbread, is used to break the daily fast. The three day festival of Şeker Bayramı (Sugar Holiday) occurs at the end of Ramadan and is celebrated with family gatherings, the giving of sweets to children, and general festivity. Kurban Bayramı (Sacrifice Holiday) usually occurs a few months after Ramadan and involves the large scale slaughter of sheep, which are purchased on street corners by those families who can afford to do so, killed, and then distributed to the poor.

Nov. 6, 2002 Oct. 27,2003 Ramazan (Ramadan) National (religious)

Duration is one month; date given is first day. Starting date may vary by one day depending on the sighting of the moon.

Eve of the 28th day of the month of Ramazan Kad:r Gecesi (Eve of Power) National (religious) Varies with Ramazan.
January 1 Yılbaşı—New Year’s Day National (secular)
Mid-January Camel Wrestling Festival Selçuk
Feb. 11,2003 Day of the Hajj National (religious) Varies with Ramazan.
February 12, 2003 Festival of the Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı) National (religious)

Date varies with the moon.

March Film Festival Ankara
March 18 Sea Victory Celebration Çanakkale
Holidays and Festivals in Turkey

Holidays and Festivals in Turkey


4 days around the vernal equinox (March 21) Mesir Macunu (“Power Gum”) Festival Manisa
March/April Bald Ibis Festival Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Birecik
Early April Film Festival Istanbul
April 23 Independence Day and Children’s Day National (secular)
April 25 ANZAC DAY Gelibolu Peninsula
Late April Power Gum Festival Manisa
Second week of May Ephesus Performance Festival Ephesus
Second week of May Yacht Festival Marmaris
May 14, 2003 Birth of The Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) National (religious)

Date varies with the moon.

May 19 Youth and Sports Day-Ataturk’s Birthday National (secular)
May 20 Black Sea Giresun Aksu Festival Giresun
May 29 Anniversaiy of Istanbul’s capture in 1453 by Mehmet the Conqueror Istanbul
Late May/Early June Song Competition Pamukkale
June Strawberry Festival Bartın
June International Tea Festival Rize
June izmir Music and Dance Fair Izmir, Çeşme, Ephesus
June Wine Competition Ürgüp
June Cherry Festival Tekirdağ
June Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival Serik-Antalya
Third week of June Bull Wrestling/Caucasus Culture and Arts Festival Artvin
Last week of June International Golden Pomegranate Festival Kemer-Antalya
June/July Music Festival İstanbul
July VW Beetle Festival Ordu
July Golden Hazelnut Festival Ordu
July Folk Dance Festival Samsun
July Nasreddin Hoca Festival Akşehir
July Hittite Festival Çorum
July 1 Navy Day National (secular)
Early July Kirkpmar Grease Wrestling Festival Edirne
Early July Bursa Festival Bursa
Last week of July Apricot Harvest Festival Malatya
July/August Highland Festivals Trabzon
Mid-August Hacibekta? Veli Commemoration Ceremony Hacibektaş
3rd week of August Pop Song Festival Çeşme
August 26 Armed Forces Day İstanbul
August 30 Celebration of Turkish Defeat of Greece (1922) National (secular)
August/September Izmir International Fair İzmir
September Meerschaum (White Gold) Festival Eskişehir
September Architectural Treasures and Folklore Week Safranbolu
First week of September Golden Apple and Silver Fish Festival Eğirdir
September 9 Liberation Day (speeches marking the end of the Independence War) İzmir
September/October Golden Pistachio Festival Gaziantep
September/October Plastic Arts Festival Istanbul
September/October Mediterranean Song Contest Antalya
October Atatürk Dam Sailing Competition Alanya
End of October Yacht Festival/Race Week Marmaris
October 29 Republic Holiday—Celebration of Atatürk’s Declaration of the Republic National (secular)
November 10, 9:05am Anniversary of Atatürk’s Death (nationwide moment of silence) National (secular)
December 5, 2002 November 27, 2003 Sugar Holiday (Şeker Bayramı) National (religious)

Date may vary by 1 or 2 days depending on the moon.

December 10-17 Rumi Commemoration-Mevlâna Festival Konya


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By PremiumTravel / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

on Dec 09, 2017

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