6 Best Traditional Festivals

Discover Turkey and enjoy traditional festivals

Turkish Traditional Festivals

Turkish traditional festivals and events are very popular in the cultural life of the country. Here are 6 of these unique and colourful festivals that take place in different regions of Turkey.

Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival

Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival is one of the oldest festivals in the world still being held for over 650 years since the first contests in 1360.

This historical festival takes place between the last days of June and the first days of July. It is one of the most important festivals in Turkey and was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. During the festival, you can enjoy the competitions, folk dance shows, exhibitions and fair organizations in Edirne.

Manisa Mesir Paste Festival

Mesir Paste Festival is a large scale festival in the centre of Manisa that has been going on for more than 480 years and consists of various cultural and traditional practices. It is so funny to catch on mesir also known as power gum. Local people have a deep emotional connection with the festival.

Mesir Paste Festival was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2012.

Seb-i Arus Ceremony

Every year during the first half of December in Konya, Seb-i Arus Ceremony (meaning the wedding night) held in commemoration of Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi, with the sema of the white robed men creating a fascinating performance for the viewer. It was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2008.

Nevruz Spring Festival

Nevruz, which means new day, is considered as the new year by Turks and Persians in Central Asia. The festival symbolizes nature, abundance, mobility and milestone in the lives of communities.

Nevruz was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

Hidirellez Spring Celebration

Hidirellez is celebrated by Turkish communities, Christians and many other Mesopotamian and Anatolian cultures as it has roots deeper than Islam or Christianity. This colourful festival was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2017.

Camel Wrestling Festival

Camel Wrestling Festivals have been organized over the ages in many different Aegean and Mediterranean cities of Turkey. The camel wrestling festival in Selcuk is one of the most famous festivals and takes place every year in January. Camel wrestling has its origins in the nomadic tribes of Anatolia where camels were a part of daily life. The locals breed and train the male camels specifically for wrestling. These camels must be of a certain type, known as Tulu Camels.

Turkish Traditional Festivals
Camel Wrestling, Selcuk, Izmir