Festivals and holidays in Turkey
As in other Islamic countries, the most important religious holiday of the country is Ramadan (the Turks pronounce his name as Ramadan). During the Holy month, Muslims throughout the day, refrain from eating, tobacco and sexual relations. The period of Ramadan is not a holiday, life goes on in its normal course, but most restaurants and other places of entertainment are closed the whole day. On the last day of Ramadan (Arife) have a tradition to visit cemeteries and to testify their respect to the ancestors; many provincial institutions are closed at this time, including tonight. But the end of the Holy month – Ramadan-Fitr (Ramazan Bayram) or Sheker Bayram (Seker Bayram, “Sweet holiday”) – note noisy and colorfully, accompanying its many ceremonies, mass prayers in mosques, cultural events, street performances, production of a huge number of all kinds of sweets and special holiday meals, the visits of guests and razdivaniem gifts.
Immediately after the feast of rozgovlenie (2009, November 28) begins a four-day Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayram, or Eid al-Adha, the Muslim holiday that celebrates the end of Hajj and sacrifices in the course of which slaughter a sacrificial sheep, and their meat distributed to the poor, neighbors and friends. All sorts of festive events during this period, literally back in quick succession, banks, museums and government offices are closed, transport is almost all either standing up or booked for various events, so traveling around the country is almost impossible. However, restaurants, stores and shops are open, so few experiences of this inconvenience.
In mid-April in Istanbul, traditionally held on the Istanbul international kinofestivalei. It is followed by international theatre festival (may) and international music festival (June-July). Also in town is the famous two-week Istanbul jazz festival (July) and the equally popular international biennial (every two years, September-November), as exhibition venues for which are the best examples of architecture and historical monuments – palaces, churches, mosques and even the airport and train stations.
Tourists may be interested the may festival dedicated to the celebration of the date of the capture of Istanbul by the Ottomans on 29 may 1453), with its concerts of military bands, costumed processions and fireworks. Immediately after it hosts the international theatre festival of puppets – Turkish shadow theatre, or “karogs”, is one of the important elements of popular culture. In June the International festival of the Bosphorus involves dozens of musical and dance performances. In July-August nightly summer concerts in the fortress of Rumeli Hisar, the range of bands is very wide – from Opera companies to rock bands. Popular electronic music festival Pepsi Electronic Fesr, held in September in Belgrade forest to the North-West of the city. Weekly Istanbul art fair (September) – the numerous exhibitions of Turkish and foreign artists in approximately fifty galleries. Good music can be heard on a two-week international jazz festival, Akbank (October) night and two-day Blues festival Efes Pilsen Blues festival (held every two years on the best sites of the city and surroundings). Almost year-round is the arts festival Yapi-cred, which presents all the trends in music.
In Ankara in April-may, the international music festival, during which organized huge “musical party” under the auspices of the Association of Polyphonic Choruses. August is the month of International women’s film festival “Flying broom”.
Izmir international festival takes place in June-July and includes in its scope a variety of fun events, including Opera performances in the theatre of Ephesus and the castle Aspendos Festival ballet (usually 10 performances from mid-June to early July) and other events.
Also noteworthy Festival of Ephesus (second or third week of may), international Anatolia music festival (may) – one of the best venues in the country for performances of symphonic orchestras, Music festival Pamukkale (end of June), the Festival of Bursa (three weeks in July), Bodrum festival (beginning of September) and the popular film festival “Atlin-Portakal” (“Golden orange”, the end of September – beginning of October) in Antalya.
Local festivals are noteworthy camel fights in Selcuk (mid January) and numerous local counterparts throughout the region Aydin (December-January) and in Kumluca (end of January). Also interesting traditional competitions on national wrestling “gures” (YaglI Gures) about Edirne (early or mid-June), bullfights during the festival Kafkasou in Artvin (end of June), the festival of the archers in Rize (September) and Hittite festival in Kurume (August).
A very popular festival of folk traditions Sir in Manisa (April), cultural festival, Yunus-Emre (Eskisehir, may), international festival of yachting in Marmaris (June), cultural festival atatürk (Amasya, June), Festival of music and the sea in Cesme (June-July), the festival of Nasreddin Hodja in akşehir (July), Trojan festival in Canakkale (September) and Kemer carnival (September-October).
However, one of the most colourful and unusual festivals in the country is the festival of Mevlana, or Mevlana (the Festival of the dervishes) in Konya (10-17 December), the popularity of which can be compared to the ancient festivals of religious brotherhoods in Hacibektas (Il Nevsehir, Cappadocia, the second half of August) and the feast in honor of Abdal Musa in Tekke (Antalya, beginning of June).
Folk dance festival Turkey can safely be considered one of the oldest and best-preserved traditions of its kind in the region. They usually attract the best professional and Amateur groups in the country, performing a huge number of different Turkish dancing, and the obligatory traditional costumes and to the accompaniment of traditional instruments. The best events of this kind are considered national holidays in Silifke (may), Foca (Izmir, June) and Samsun (July), although as good Gypsy festival of music and dance in Thrace (late spring – early summer), Spring festival of Edirne and the festival ‘ in the mud Kirklareli (both also occur in early summer).
It is believed that many agricultural festivals and fairs of Turkey is interesting only by the local population that did not correspond to reality. These festivals have always played an important role in Turkish rural life, and therefore has always been considered a kind of folk exhibits which were brought and best goods and the best suits and, accordingly, held all sorts of “cultural competition” between the inhabitants of neighboring areas. In the end, they are in our days there are not only celebrations of fertility, but also a kind of repository of folk traditions. In the framework of the watermelon Festival in Diyarbakir (mid – end of September), for example, it is possible not only to see the competition for the title of biggest fruit of the field, but also visitors from all neighboring countries – Syria, Iran and Iraq, bringing in the feast of your color. The grape festival in Urgup (Nevsehir, mid-September) and is considered the best exhibition of decorative crafts in Cappadocia (held, for example, the country’s largest festival of pottery in Avanos), and the main wine-growing holiday in the country. And passing through one of such festivals competition Menges Chiefs in Bolu (August) is a competition of the best chefs in the country. And the strawberry festival in the black sea town of Bartin (June), Exhibition of wine in Urgup (July and October), the Festival of roses and carpets in Isparta (August), Festival of tea in Rize (June) and the festival “the Golden pistachio” in Gaziantep (December) is considered one of the best exhibitions of its kind in the world.