festivals &public holidays
The offical calander is the western Gregorian one as in Europe, but religous festivals, some of which are public holidays , are celebrated according to the Muslim Lunar calendar.As the Lunar year is about 11 days shorter than the Solar year used for the Gregorian system, the Muslim festivals appear to arrive that many days earlier each year.
While friday is the Muslim sabbath , it is not their holiday.Mosques are often crowded on a friday noontime.The day of rest, a secular one is sunday, although in tourist areas many facilities are available throughout the week.
The two main religious holidays are ;
Þeker Bayramý (Sugar holy festival)
This is a 3 to 5 day celebration,which follows the month of daylight fasting of Ramazan.Traditionally , children go from door to door receiving sweets and treats from their neighbour.Muslims Exchange greeting cards and pay social calls where special foods will be offered.Everybody enjoys a drink,normally tea in the luxury of the daylight hours.During this national holiday , banks and offices are closed.
Kurban Bayramý (Holy festival of Sacrifice)
Two months and ten days after Þeker bayramý , Kurban bayramý is the most important religious holiday of the year.Is is equivalent to Christmas in Christian counties.The festival commemorates Abraham’s near sacrifice of his son,Isaac , on mount Moriah.In the story , God orders Abraham to take Isaac up to the mount to sacrifice him.Abraham takes Isaac and lays him on th atlar , but at last moment, God stops him and congratulates him on his faithfullness.God then orders him to sacrifice a ram, which had been tangled in a bush nearby , instead of his son. Following the tradition ,over 2.5 million sheep or , in the case of poorer families,goats are sacrificed on the kurban bayramý in Turkey each year.A proportion of the meat must be donated to the needy and the skins are often given to charities which can sell them to leather production companies.Greeting cards are exchanged and many people take to the roads,going home to their families and old friends.
Kurban Bayramý is a four days holiday.Banks maybe closed for a whole week,normal business is interrupted , transportation crowded and resorts packed with holiday makers.
Festivals & Public Holidays
1st January : New years day
23rd April : Independence Day &Children’s Day, celebrating the first meeting of the new republican government in Ankara , 1920
19th May : Youth &Sports Day ,commemorating Atatürk’s Birthday , 1881
1st July : Navy Day
30th August : Victory Festival,celebrating the Turkish victory over the Greek forces at Dumlýpýnar ,1922.
29th October : Republic Day,commemorating the proclamation of the Republic by Ataturk 1923.
Apart from Navy Day , banks and offices will normally be closed on those days.
Non-religous holidays are celebrated with speeches and children’s parades in banner-clad streets and town squares with the obligatory Atatürk statue as the unvarying focal point.