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A Cultural Trip to Turkey: The Major Occasions

The land of Turkey stands at the borders of the Asian and European continents. Middle-east land is one of the most attractive tourist hubs to visitors across the globe. The ancient Islamic land protects its diverse religious presence with utmost care and respect.

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The country reflects a mixed essence of traditional oriental values and modern, western culture. Turkey is more budget-friendly as a tourist destination compared to the Western European countries. Thousands of tourists from different corners of the world find Turkey a pleasant holiday destination. The land looks scenic and beautiful all through the year.

Turkey boasts of various attraction points. The country is decked up with lush green valleys to blue mountain ranges to the enormous sea beaches. Every corner of Turkey is replete with serene natural beauty. The abundance of religious and historical sites and ancient ruins add deep classic vibes to the land. Turkey is also famous as the "Land of Mosques" for the abundance of mosques located in different corners of the country.

On the other hand, the vibrant city life creates a beautiful contrast with the pristine and quiet countryside. The ancient bazaars in Turkey sell traditional clothes, shows, pieces of jewelry, original species, and authentic Turkish food items, etc. The land is known to be a "shoppers' paradise". According to Turkish food tradition, breakfast is the main meal of the day. Delicious Turkish cuisine has acquired a special place in the international food culture. Lying between the two largest continents of the world, Turkey functions as the trade capital. The country is famous for handicraft items.

An Overview of Festivals in Turkey

Turkey is a land of culture. Various religious and cultural occasions are observed in this land at different times of the year. The blog intends to focus on the various festivals celebrated in the holy land. Every year, Turkey commemorates the major holidays, with either religious or historical reasons. The national holidays represent the significant steps towards the making of the modern nation of Turkey. Besides religious and national holidays, music, sports, outdoor festivals are observed in Turkey.

On the national feasts, the governmental organization, private companies, agencies, banks, and educational institutions enjoy holidays from work. The members of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Political Parties, bureaucrats, military people, etc. visit the tomb of Atatürk. The schools celebrate the day through cultural programs.

Cocktail parties are thrown under the cover of the President on the nights of the holidays. High-rank Government Officers, Politicians, Diplomats, Bureaucrats, famous artists are invited to the parties. Several crucial activities take place under the leadership of the Turkish Government.

Let us have a detailed discussion on the Turkish holidays.

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day

According to the Turkish Calendar, 23rd April is National Sovereignty and Children's Day. Turkish citizens celebrate the day every year to commemorate the foundation of the Turkish Grand National Assembly in 1920. The day having dual significance is also observed as Children's Day. The Grand National Assembly Day was a gift to the country's children by the Atatürk, the first president and founder of the Turkish Republic body. The leader had a special love and care for the kids as the future of the country. The day had been dedicated to bringing joy to the faces of the children who lost their families in war.

Since the 20s, the holiday had gradually become a series of events. Currently, children from different corners of the world attend the series of festivals observed on this occasion. Various activities are initiated for kids during this week of April. So to say, this is the only celebration in Turkey dedicated to children.

Victory Day

Turkey celebrates its Victory Day (Zafer Bayrami) every year on 30th August. The holiday reminds the country masses of the conquest in the Battle of Dumlupınar fought during the Greco-Turkish war. The battle went on for four years, from 1919 to 1922, as a part of the Turkish Independence War. The special day denotes the registration of Turkey as a free country. At present, the day is celebrated followed by parades, cultural programs, speeches, etc.

Republic Day

29th October is Turkish Republic Day. The day is one of the most important national holidays in the Turkish calendar. Back in 1923, Turkey was declared as a Republic on this day. Grand celebrations take place on this day in different corners of the country. Images of Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and the national flag of Turkey are worshipped in various organizations and localities to commemorate the day. The display of fireworks over Istanbul is also a wonder to see this day. Cultural programs fill the day with happiness and joy. The day is celebrated in the Turkish consulates in different countries and many foreign cities where the Turkish people reside in.

Atatürk Commemoration and Youth and Sports Day

Atatürk Commemoration and Youth and Sports Day, celebrated on 19th May every year, is a national holiday with dual significance. The day remembers the landing of Mustafa Kamel (A soldier of the Ottoman Empire) at Samsun in 1919, 9th May. The soldier led the freedom struggle from Samsun in Anatolia. Mustafa gathered armies to fight against the foreign soldiers. The day marks the commencement of the Turkish War of Independence. The national holiday was first celebrated in Fenerbahçe Stadium in 1935. The Turkish Government decided to observe the historic day through sports and sport-related activities.

Democracy and Liberty Day

An illegal seizure was made by a terror organization on the 15th of July 2016. The attempt remained unsuccessful because of the concrete willpower of the Turkish people. Therefore, the failed attempt is now celebrated as a public holiday. The day reminds the Turkish people of the democracy of their nation. The commemoration of this day boosts the democratic and unity strength of the country.


Religious fasting, one of the five pillars in Islam, is observed during Ramadan. The people are not allowed to eat anything from 5 am to 7 pm. The fasting period ends on the month-end. On the 30th day, the Ramadan celebration begins. Ramadan is the most important religious ceremony for Muslims all over the world. Turkey, being an Islamic country, is not different from other Muslim states.

The day of Ramadan marks the end of the month-long fast. The public and government agencies are on leave during the 3-day long festival. The day is celebrated with families and friends. Food is an integral part of the festival. The occasion is also known as Sweets Holiday as people visit their family members and offer sweets. Gifts like clothes, sweets, money, souvenirs are exchanged between families and friends. The feast boosts social solidarity. The auspicious day is celebrated with grandeur and festivity.

The Feast of Sacrifice

Sacrificing animals for God is considered to be one of the Islamic obligations. Believers offer animals like cows, sheep, and goats as sacrifices to Allah. The Sacrificial ritual takes place ten days back to the Ramadan feast every year.

Labour and Solidarity Day

1st May is celebrated as workers’ day all around the world. The day became a public holiday under the 2009 regulation.

Izmir World Fair

Izmir World Fair is a multi-themed festival conducted in early September. A corporation of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality organizes the commercial fair. Different social and musical events take place at the fair.

Camel Wrestling

Camel Wrestling is not as popular as it used to be in the previous days. Now, the event happens in the Aegean region. Camel wrestling takes place every year in January, at Ephesus, one of the most popular archaeological sites in Turkey. In most cases, two male camels (bulls) get the chance the fight for a beautiful female camel (cow).

Folk Dance Festivals

Folk Dance Festivals offer the visitors the opportunity to enjoy Turkey’s best dance troupes presenting various Turkish folk dance forms. The dancers present themselves in their traditional costumes. This cultural festival draws the attention of the tourists.

Ballet Festival

One of the most interesting cultural festivals in Turkey is the International Aspendos Opera and Ballet Festival. The festival takes place in the 2000 years old Roman Aspendos Theatre. The theatre is best-known for providing some of the best international operas and ballet groups.

Music Festival

The music festival begins on September 5. Spectators need to book seats in advance. Different music festivals are conducted in the country in different seasons.

Rock’n Coke

Rock'n Coke is known to be Turkey's biggest rock festival. The festival first happened in 2003. Coca cola sponsors the program. Famous musicians from different corners of the country come to participate in the music festival.

beauty mountain Turkey
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Map of Turkey

To Conclude,

The blog has focused on different festivals and holidays celebrated in Turkey, including the national, religious, cultural, and folk festivals. The tourists can enjoy the festival at different times of the year. You must have prior knowledge of the timing of the music and dance festivals to attend the feasts. You must participate in the major occasions of Turkey to complete your cultural trip to the land.

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