Turkey, one of the most popular countries in the world, is diverse in every aspect. Whether it is history, culture, tradition, or modern architecture, something is always happening almost every day. It is also a known fact that Turkish people are very welcoming and hospitable. They celebrate small events to the fullest. The upcoming holiday seasons are religious fairs, memorable days, and other national holidays. It is always a good practice to check which holiday dates fall under your trip to Turkey. For your convenience, we have listed the upcoming holidays for you to make the most of your trip. Let’s check them out!
New Year’s Day: 1st January
In the local language ‘’Yılbaşı’’, the very first day of the New Year has its value in Turkey as Turks celebrate with zest and zeal. On the night of 31st December, people gather in popular markets, and all the town squares are typically full of youngsters. There is festivity till the clock strikes at midnight.
There are live concerts, delicious food, and firecrackers all over the streets. These are the following traditions in Turkey that welcome the New Year:
- Fresh pomegranates are smashed at midnight. This is done to bring a healthy life to the New Year.
- Local salt is thrown on doorsteps. This is done so no evil enters throughout next year and homes remain safe for families.
Ramadan: 13 April-12 May
The holy month of Ramadan is celebrated with great spirit in Turkey. People observe fast for the whole month in the name of Allah Almighty. Museums, parks, entertainment resources remain open at specific timings. Mosques are generally full of religious people as there are holy gatherings everywhere. People give sadaqah and zakat to needy individuals and feel the sufferings of the poor. In city parks, there are large gatherings of people sharing food during Iftar.
National Sovereignty and Children’s Holiday: 23rd April
Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı, a day for the recognition of children, is a national holiday in Turkey. In 1927, this day was dedicated to children by the founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Let’s look at the following quote:
‘’April 23rd is dedicated to the children of Turkey to recognize that children are the future of the nation. ’’
UNICEF particularly values this national event and recognizes it at an international level. Now, Turkey hosts children every year from different countries to build relationships with their respective countries. Children participate in various school activities. They perform songs, dances and take part in sports. There is a ceremony held in the stadium every year and children receive toys and chocolates from organizers.
There is a fun activity where Turkish children take over the government for a single day. On this day, they have more power than government officials. They hold sessions discussing children’s rights and educational matters. These children are orphans with high educational achievements.
Labor Day: 1st May Holiday
1st May is dedicated to the laborers of the world. These are the hardworking people who provide services and receive daily wages. Their job is tough and we need to show our appreciation to them. This is why a day has been dedicated to paying regard to laborers internationally.
In Turkey, offices and business hubs remain closed and there is an official one-day leave. In history, the first labor day was celebrated in 1911 during the Ottoman empire. From 1923, there has been a regular celebration of Labour rights on 1st May.
Taksim Square, a popular spot for gatherings, was the most prominent point for rallies of people till a shooting incident led authorities to ban the destination for safety purposes.
Ramazan Bayrami Holidays: 13 May-15 May
Commonly known as Eid-ul-Fitr, Ramazan Bayrami is a three-day festival. This is the celebration after the completion of the fast during the whole month of Ramadan. It’s called Seker Bayrami in Turkey. There is a Turkish tradition of distributing sweets and money wrapped in pieces of clothes and sending kids door to door to partake in celebrations.
There are lots of crowds on the roads. It is preferable to avoid going out and spend time with family members instead. Turkish people wish Eid by saying Eid Mubarak just like Arab Muslims greet each other on Eid day. Eid Mubarak means ‘’blessed festival’’.
The most amazing thing about these holidays is free public transports. Public transport includes trains, Metrobus, trams, and ferries are free of charge!
Democracy and National Unity Day: 15th July
July 15 is known as Democracy and National Unity Day in Turkey. It is a national holiday. Government institutions, offices, business hubs, and schools remain closed. There are commemorative ceremonies held all over Turkey to pay tribute to their historical heroes.
Kurban Bayrami Holidays: 20 July- 23 July
Turkey’s second most important religious fest is Kurban Bayrami. It is celebrated after two months of Ramadan. The date depends upon moon sighting. Kurban Bayrami is the sacrifice of animals in the remembrance of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S). Kurban Bayrami is similar to Eid-ul Adha which Arab Muslims celebrate.
It’s a three-day holiday celebration. Offices, shops, and most businesses are closed. Turkish people are very family-oriented and they visit the home of elders on these religious holidays.
Republic Holiday: 29th Oct
This day is the celebration of Turkey. The Republic of Turkey was established on Oct 29, 1923. People come out of their homes on this day by holding flags. Ceremonies are happening everywhere as the day and night skies fill up with fireworks.
If you have time, visit Bosphorous. You will be stunned to see the spectacular fireworks shows there. Many tourists visit Bosphorous on this day for Republic day celebrations!