Holidays, events, festivals of Turkey
The only national secular holiday in Turkey is the Day of Youth and Sports (May 19). After all, almost 66% of the Turkish nation consists of people under the age of 35. The high percentage of young people explains the recent tendency to return to the norms of Islam (a feature of Muslim civilization is that students support the tradition there). Speaking of Turkey in general, one cannot lose sight of the fact that, despite the separation of the Church from the state in 1928, here, unlike in Russia, you will not find atheists. Despite the fact that in the Turkish Republic only two Islamic celebrations, Seker Bayram and Kurban Bayram are official holidays, confessional festivals enjoy great love both in the countryside and in the urban environment.
For example, although in the month of Ramadan, no one evades from their activities, believers leave their place of service much earlier than the generally accepted end of the working day to be at home in the iftar hour. Also, if you are traveling to Turkey in Ramazan, be prepared for the fact that some restaurants, tea and coffee shops will be closed during the daylight hours, and in others – alcohol will not be sold.
The lunar calendar, according to which the dates of Ramadan, the Feast of Sacrifice, etc., are set, has 12 months and dates back to July 16, 622 AD, the day of the expulsion of the Prophet Mahomet and his followers from Mecca’s hometown of Medina (Yathrib). Exodus in Arabic “Hijra”, hence the name chronology. It is remarkable that the four holy months of the Hijra of the twelve are pre-Islamic. It is also necessary to take into account the fact that the countdown of days in the Hijra begins from the appearance of the first star. However, in today’s Turkey, the Mohammedan Bayrams are included in the Gregorian cycle, and their lunar dates, indicating the months of the Hijri, are only important for the clergy.
In general, it must be admitted that in Turkey there is no village that does not have its amusements. In addition, in addition to constituting the overwhelming majority of the population of Turkey, the Sunni-hanefit, on its territory there are also adherents of other faiths, each of which has its own memorable days. For example, the anniversary of the Julian calendar is celebrated not only in Istanbul, the capital of the Constantinople Patriarchate, but also in the area of the compact settlement of Armenians on Lake Van. The same applies to the rituals of the Catholic, Jewish, and other communities, coped with the internal chronology. In Istanbul, there are cases when the most tolerant Muslims willingly accept Easter eggs as a gift from their Orthodox neighbors, and they, in their turn, are eating baklava and Turkish delight on the Sugar Festival, which marks the end of Ramadan.
Of course, to bring all the Turkish celebrations in this encyclopedia is unthinkable, and hardly necessary. One can only talk about the celebration of the most solemn dates in the life of the Turkish Republic and try to comprehend the essence of this, still full of mysteries, a corner of the globe.
The * marked state holidays:
January 1 – YYLBASY (Yilbasi) – New Year * Celebrating the New Year, the Turks pay off Ataturk. The father of all Turks elevated the principle of secularism into one of the tenets of the Turkish Republic. This was confirmed by the introduction of the Gregorian chronology in Turkey from January 1, 1926. This did not mean that the Turks abandon their inheritance. Rather, this was due to the fact that in foreign policy Turkey has always focused on the states that live according to the Western Christian calendar. And although today in Turkish society there is a more pronounced inclination towards Islamization, only two official holidays remain in Turkey, Seker Bayram and Kurban Bayram, celebrated on the lunar Hijra calendar. In Istanbul, Yilbasi meets in the European part of the Old City, in Taksim Square ( Taksim) and in the old quarter of Pera (Pera). Everywhere there are concerts in the fresh air. The crowds on the boulevards leading to the Beyoglu area are accompanied by the impatient sounds of the horn. In the Asian part of Istanbul, the most lively place on New Year’s Eve is the Kadikoy district, known as the place of secret meetings for the first Christians.
January 6 – “SHAHSEI-WAKHSEI” (ASURE GUNU) The Shiites-Ilahs do not recognize Ramazan, but, in memory of the murder of the great martyr, they fast 12 days, starting with Ashura Günu. This is also the estimated date of the Last Judgment. In honor of the holiday relies to prepare a special variety of sweet pudding, consisting of cereals, raisins and nuts, which is also referred to as “Ashura”
March 8 – “Mevlit Kandili” (Mevlit Kandili) – Christmas of the Prophet. Despite the fact that in Turkey Mevlit Kandili is not a state celebration, its celebration is practically no different from the festivities in other Muslim countries. The attributes of the holiday are the fascinating illumination of mosques and special pastries. It starts on the 12th night of the lunar month of the Hijra, Rabi-ul-Awal, and lasts a whole month.
March 21 – “NAYUZ BAYRAMY” (Newrouz – in translation from Farsi New Day)