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Religious Holidays in Turkey

Religious Holidays in Turkey

Two religious holidays in Turkey occur and their timing changes every year according to the Islamic calendar. Road trips during these periods are generally avoided since traffic is heavy, with Turks visiting families in their hometowns. Banks and offices will close for the duration of these periods. Attractions and historical sites will often close for the morning of the first day and open for normal business in the afternoon.

Ramadan (Seker) Bayram: A 3 days festival marking the end of Ramadan feast.

During this three day celebration the flow of life changes drastically. For locals it means holiday since schools, government offices, banks and even the private establishments are closed for three and a half days starting from noon the eve (arife) of the holiday. Arife is the day to get ready for the holiday.

People clean their houses, they go shopping for candies and chocolate, they prepare traditional pastries like baklava, get a haircut and perform similar personal maintenance. It is important to look dashing with recently, special for the occasion purchased clothes. This attire is called bayramlık.

Kurban Bayram: Known as the Sacrifice feast, this is a 4 days festival honouring the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his youngest son to Allah. 

Sacrificial animal should be slaughtered within the first 3 days. It will not be accepted on the 4th day. Usually male sheep or male cows are slaughtered. Meat of the sacrificed animal should be divided into 7 parts and distributed to those in need. Otherwise, sacrifice will not be accepted.


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