Kurban Bayramı is one of the most important Islamic religious festivals of the year.
When? – The date of ‘Kurban Bayram’ or ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’ changes each year and takes place 70 days after Ramadan, this year, 2014 it starts on Friday 3rd of October and comes to an end on Tuesday 7th October.
The celebrations last four and a half days with the ‘half-day’ being the beginning of the festival (eve of festival) Giving people a half day to prepare/plan for the 4-day festivities.
What is Kurban Bayram?
The Feast of the Sacrifice is to honor the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his first-born son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of faith and submission to God. Before Abraham could start the sacrifice, God intervened and provided Abraham with a Lamb to sacrifice instead of his son. phew!
All Muslims now sacrifice an animal during the festival to commemorate this prophet.
Today it has become tradition to sacrifice a sheep on the morning of the first day of the holiday period.
Official 'sacrifice abbatoirs' (kurban kesme yerleri) perform the sacrifice of the animals as it is illegal in Turkey to do so without the correct authorisation.
Trained butchers, at the requests of the families will kill, clean, and package the meat.
Some people prefer to donate money to charities / organizations and have animals slaughtered in their name. (These charities / organizations distribute the meat to the poor and needy)
Why? – Kuban Bayram is all about charity and community. During the festivities people take time out to visit family and friends and give donations of food or clothing to the less fortunate. Parents often buy new clothes for their children to wear during the festival and give their old clothes to the poor.
How will travel become affected?
Public transport continues to be in service, however it is not advised for tourists to travel on the first or last days of the holiday period due to public transport being heavily used during this time.
Closed for business
All banks, many business and all government offices are closed for the holiday period.
How will tourists be affected?
Tourism does not come to a halt during the Kurban Bayram festival, on the first day of the festival many tourist attractions will be closed for a half-day and tourist / holiday resorts will resume business as normal.
Shops and bazaars will be closed on the first day of the holiday, but most will re-open after the first day.
Many restaurants will still be open for business.
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