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National Festivals in Turkey

Discover Turkey, photo courtesy of Turkey Home


Turkey's National Festivals

Turkey enthusiastically celebrates important national festivals evey year. 30th August Victory Festival, Republic Festival, National Sovereignty and Children's Day, Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day.

Turkish National Festivals

Republic Day: Republic Day of Turkey is one of the public holidays and national festivals in Turkey, commemorating the proclamation of the republic on October 29, 1923.

Victory Day: Victory Day is a national holiday celebrated in Turkey on August 30 each year. Turkish flags often adorn shops, public offices and people's houses on this day.

National Sovereignty and Children's Day: National Sovereignty and Children's Day is held on April 23 each year. Solemn ceremonies and children's festivals take place throughout Turkey.

Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day: Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day in Turkey features state ceremonies and sports events throughout the country on May 19 each year.

Celebrations and Ceremonies

The only traditional element in the official ceremonies of these national festivals which are enthusiastically celebrated in cities and towns is the participation of Seymens (heroes and dancers from central Anatolia) and Zeybeks (heroes of southwestern Anatolian villages) in the celebrations with their special costumes.

After the official ceremonies are over, however, in some places workers and artisans gather in the city or municipality hall and organize special entertainments until the late hours of the night, and these entertainments lend a special significance to the festivals.

Drums are played in these celebrations. Small towns in Anatolia have their own folk dances, but in big cities like Istanbul or Ankara these ceremonies turn into a festival of folk dancing.

In many places on national holidays, wrestling matches or races are held after the official ceremonies.

In recent years, political parties have organized many entertainments with music on national holidays in order to increase the excitement while competing with other parties. Thus, festival traditions are also subject to a process of change.

National Festivals in Turkey

World Children's Day, Turkey