Celebrations and Holidays in Turkey
The diversity of cultures and backgrounds gives way to many different traditions of celebrations. There is only one most commonly followed pattern, which is the assembly of the entire family and visiting neighbours and family friends. On these days gifts are exchanged many different kinds of delights and homemade dishes are treated. Some may also prefer to go resort or some other types of entertainment locations. One thing could be said for sure, many are active with their relatives and families.
National holidays in Turkey
National holidays in Turkey are exceptionally important for the nationalistic view and are seen as the days of national unity of Turkey. All celebrations are mostly ceremonial on these days and are conducted with the organization of the schools or military. The preparations start from few weeks prior to the day with the rehearsals and shows. In these ceremonies, the students are mostly used and partake in the parades and spectacular shows. Various poems that are related echo in the stadiums, speeches are given, and many other colourful celebrations are conducted.
National Independence and Children’s Day is on April 23, the date when in 1920 the Turkish Grand National Assembly was founded in Ankara by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. This day mark the shift from a religiously ruled community to a nation, which also is a national holiday. From the year 1929 until today this day is also known for as the Children’s Day, to point out the importance of the children as the future of a nation.
Ataturk Commemoration, Youth and Sports Day is on May 19, which marks the start the set of events that led the nation to the Independence from the short rule of explicators that beset the lands of Turkey in the aftermath of World War 1.
Victory Day is on August 30, which marks the day of victory after a 5 day battle in Izmir Dunlupinar against Greek forces in that region resulting the Independence of Turkish nation.
Republic Day is on October 29, which marks the day when The Republic of Turkey was declared by the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1923.
Religious Holidays in Turkey
Ramazan Bayrami, Eid-al Fitr, which comes after a 30 days fasting in Ramadan and Kurban Bayrami, Eid-al Adha, which is the day when animal sacrifices are made, are two major holidays in Turkey, in the Turkish religious culuture.
Religious holidays in Turkey cannot have certain day every year due to difference in the Lunar Calendar and Solar Calendar. Every year the holidays come 10 days prior to the date of the previous year. Even though not everyone is religious in Turkey these days are seen to be an essential and very important days of Turkish culture and are taken very seriously just like western world that gives special importance to Christmas. The preparations are also very intense in these days. People shop, prepare gifts, send greeting to their close ones.
On the morning of the holiday people prepare themselves by clothing themselves with their most favourite attire and preparing the house for the guests to come. Males go to the morning prayer a very important event where they bring their children along to show them the importance of the event. To this prayer so many people attend that almost always the crowd floods the surrounding of the mosques and pray on the small carpets that they brought with them.
Sermons are given by the imams of the mosques that people attend in masses. A valuable opportunity for the imams to preach to so many in a day. On this days a general peace wish and unity and prosperity is being emphasized mostly by the preachers. Also the visiting and strengthening bonds is highly advised. The following stage continues at home mostly of the grandparents of the family where every member of the family meet each other. This is when people greet each other, candies and the best deserts are eaten, children get pocket money from each adult in the family. The grand parents are valued and respected most on these days.
The deceased family members are also remembered. The funeral visits top on these special days. The graves of the passed loved ones witness a feast on their right. The graves soils fill up with the flowers and family members read Qur’an for the passed away relatives.
The second stage of the fest continues with the some shops getting opened so that people can spent their money on the amusements and other social activities. Children are the mostly the first one that spend all they money on the same day to different kinds of entertainment. The following days are spend by meeting up or visiting other relatives, family friends and respected people in a festive atmosphere. These days become a very good opportunities for the problems to be resolved if existing among friends and family members.
Kurban Bayrami is essentially the same procedure as in the Ramazan Bayrami with one difference which is the animal sacrifice that takes place after the first morning celebrations.
The animal that is appropriate to sacrifice on this day is a goat, a ram or any kind of cattle mostly differs according to the wealth of the family. The sacrifice can be made in any of the four day of Kurban Bayrami. The meat is divided in to three parts, one for relatives, one for the poor and one for the neighbors. This sacrifice takes either in the backyard of the people or in the designated areas in the city. These days are also a big time for relive acts or donations of all kinds.
Holidays in Turkey
There are more holidays in Turkey. Many cities in Turkey like Istanbul, Izmir, Maras, Urfa, were invaded at World War 1. Cities celebrate their independence and most of the cities have their own “Independence day“.