"Special Times In Turkey" Turkey Local Custom Tip by deecat

Turkey Local Customs: 407 reviews and 378 photos

  "Whirling Dervishes"
by deecat

For a whole month each year, Ramadan is held. All good Muslims will neighter eat nor drink between sunrise & sunset. At the end of Ramadan, there are 3 days called Seker Bayrami which means "Sugar Holiday".

Religious Festivals:

Mevlid-i Nebi [The prophet's birthday] where people read poetry about the birth of the Prophet Mohammed. They also cook special sweet dishes, & children exchange colored eggs.

The Mevlana Festival [Whirling Dervishes perform to honor a great poet who founded the Jalaladin Rumi religious order.

National Festivals:

Cumhuriyet Bayrami [all towns in Turkey have parades & speeches to commemorate the proclamation of the Turkish Republic in 1923].

Victory Day [the day celebrates Turkey's victory over invading Greek forces in the War of Independence

Seasonal Festivals:

New Year's Day

St Nicholas Festival [celebrations are held in the old church of St. Nicholas, the original Santa Claus in southern Turkey].

Kirkpinar Wresting [in the biggest wrestling competition in Turkey, competitors are covered with oil and wrestle wearing only knee-length calfskin pants.]

Kurdish New Year [although not an official holiday, the large Kurdish population celebrates the year on March 21st]

These festivals have no fixed dates on our modern calendar. For religious purposes, Muslims use an old calendar called the lunar calendar . The events come 11 days earlier in each year of the modern calendar.

This old calendar used to be the only calendar used in Turkey. It was the Ottoman sultans who began to change to the modern calendar. In 1935, weekly holiday was introduced which was to occur from 1 p.m. on Saturday to Monday morning. The concept of a holy day of rest was not a Muslim custom; traditionally, the Muslim day of worship is Friday, not Sunday. Changed from Friday to Sunday to try to bring Turkey into line with other Western countriesbut still, large numbers of Muslims find time for midday prayers in a mosque on Fridays.

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  • Updated Aug 21, 2005
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