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Religious Festivals in Turkey

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Turkey's Religious Festivals

Turkey enthusiastically celebrates two important religious festivals evey year. Ramadan Festival and the Feastival of Sacrifice are two of the oldest Islamic festivals in Turkey.

Ramadan Festival

Ramadan Festival is a time for visiting relatives and paying one's respect to older people. People give away sweets, coffee and desserts during the festival, children watch free Turkish shadow plays.

The main characteristics of Ramadan Festival are that people, neighbours, relatives and friends pay visits and go to see each other. Young people kiss their parents' hands and receive best wishes and blessings from them. It is a tradition to give money or little gifts to those childreen who kiss one's hands.

The symbols of the Ramadan Festival;

  • A new moon
  • Sweets and traditional desserts
  • Delicious traditional foods
  • A cup of Turkish tea or coffee
  • Best wishes and blessings
  • Visiting relatives and neighbours
  • Karagoz and Hacivat shadow plays

Festival of Sacrifice

Feastival of Sacrifice is a four day religious festival. Traditions include sacrificing an animal in a special ritual, visiting relatives and helping the poor.

Traditionally, on the first day of the Feastival of Sacrifice, men of each family go to a mosque for a special morning prayer. Then the sacrifice ritual begins. Families share about two thirds of the animal's meat with relatives and neighbors, and they traditionally give about one third to the poor.

The symbols of the Festival of Sacrifice;

  • Sacrificial sheeps
  • Morning prayer in the mosque
  • Delicious traditional foods
  • A cup of Turkish tea or coffee
  • Best wishes and blessings
  • Visiting relatives and neighbours



Religious Festivals in Turkey

Ramadan Festival, Istanbul


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