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Important Turkish Dates for Your Diary

24th March 2015

Important Turkish Dates for Your Diary.

Children's Day
Date: April 23rd

Turkish children take seats in parliament and symbolically govern the country for the day.  This is to commemorate Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the Turkish Republic.  The child parliament elects a president who then addresses the country on national television.  Children festivals happen throughout the country all day long.  This is an official holiday in Turkey in which government offices, schools, and most businesses are closed.

Labor Day

Date: May 1st

Many people take the day off to have a picnic and spend time with family and friends.  This is an official holiday with government offices, schools, and post offices being closed.  Almost all businesses remain open.

Youth & Sports Day
Date: May 19th

On this holiday state ceremonies and sports events are held throughout the country every year.  Young athletes carry the Turkish flag from the Black Sea to the capital to commemorate the Turkey’s War of Independence.  On May 19th many sporting events occur and a great majority of the population takes the opportunity to watch athletes perform at local stadiums or participate in public sporting events.  This is an official holiday with administrative buildings, post offices, schools, and most businesses being closed.

Date: Starts June 17th   

The most important date in the muslum calendar, this holiday lasts about a month and is a time of fasting, prayer, and celebration.  Muslims take this time to examine their lives, to remind themselves of virtues like charity, compassion, and forgiveness.  Many fast from sunrise to sunset.

Şeker Bayram
July 17th- 19th

In Turkey this is an official holiday that occurs on the last day of Ramazan. During this three day feast people take the time to visit relatives and pay respect to their elders.  On the first day people usually rise early, put on their best clothes, and have a large breakfast.  This large morning feast symbolizes the end of the fasting period.  This is an official holiday where administration buildings, schools, and most businesses are closed.

Victory Day
August 30th

Victory Day is often celebrated by attending military parades which occur in most major cities.  Locals and shop owners decorate their windows with Turkish flags and images of Ataturk.  There are ceremonies that commemorate the founder of the Turkish Republic.  It is a public holiday where most businesses remain open while schools and administrative offices are closed.

Feast of Sacrifice
Date: September 24th- 27th

This is a four day religious festival that includes the ritual sacrifice of a ram well as visiting family and helping the poor.  On the first day men of households go to a special morning prayer which begins the sacrifice ritual.  Traditionally, families will share 2/3 of the animal’s meat with relatives and neighbors and often give about 1/3 to the poor.  This is an official four day holiday with businesses, schools, and government offices being closed.

Republic Day

October 29th

Most people attend performances at local stadiums that include theater sketches, poetry readings, and traditional Turkish dances.  In the evening cities have processions with flags and musical bands that end with fireworks which begin after dark.  This is an official national holiday with many businesses being closed in addition to post offices, schools, and administrative buildings.

New Year
Date: January 1st

New Year’s Day usually begins with celebratory fireworks after the traditional countdown on New Year’s Eve.  Celebrations can last until dawn and most people take January 1st off to relax and visit with friends and family.  In Turkey New Year’s Day is considered a public holiday where all administrative buildings, schools, post offices, and most businesses are closed.  In general, it is a quiet day with very little happening throughout the country.


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