What are the Important Days and Holidays Celebrated in Turkey?

Special and important days celebrated in Turkey have an important place in social life. Celebrations, holidays, and all kinds of content that create social awareness add meaning to the lives of individuals. Some of these days, which arouse the spirit of unity are entertaining, while others remind every individual living in the society of our values ​​that should not be forgotten and protected.

Official holidays in Turkey are generally divided into two groups national holidays and religious holidays. Official holidays; National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, Victory Day and Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day. Religious holidays celebrated in the country are Ramadan and Eid-al-Adha Feasts. Other public holidays are New Year’s Day, July 15 Democracy and Freedom Day, and May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day.

What are the National Holidays Celebrated in Turkey?

National holidays are of great importance in terms of transferring the precious values ​​in societies to the next generations. Every year, on certain dates, commemoration ceremonies and official ceremonies are held regularly to bring the national values ​​of the society to the fore. It is possible to talk about many events that held the Turkish nation together in line with the events that took place in its history. These values ​​have made it possible for the Turkish nation to live together for many years. In this direction, national days and holidays that represent unity and solidarity have an important place in Turkish society.

While celebrating these special holidays, we commemorate the success and heroism of history and realize the importance of all the values ​​that have been inherited from us. Another reason for celebrating national holidays is to commemorate past struggles. When it comes to the place where national holidays are celebrated most enthusiastically, the first place that comes to mind is schools. Celebrations in a festive atmosphere at schools are celebrated with joy to ensure the integration of common values ​​with society.

These important dates, which we express as the reward of success and great victories, are celebrated as a feast with great enthusiasm today. National holidays, which enable us to shed light on the future by learning lessons from the past, have a very special place in society. These important dates, in which national unity and solidarity are of great importance, are listed as follows;

  • April 23 National Sovereignty Children’s Day,
  • 19 May Commemoration of Ataturk, Youth and Sports Day,
  • October 29 Republic Day,
  • 30th of August Victory Day.

1. April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day

On April 23, 1920, the Turkish Grand National Assembly was established in Ankara. This day is very important in terms of national sovereignty, the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and the first day of the people’s full domination of the administration. This special day was gifted to all children in the world by Atatürk. This holiday, which is celebrated on April 23 every year, is the most important national holiday in Turkey.

2. May 19 the Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

On May 19, 1919, important changes occurred for the Republic of Turkey. This date, which is almost a turning point for the Turkish nation, has been recorded as the day Ataturk set foot in Samsun. Having set foot in Samsun for the first time as a soldier of the Ottoman Empire, Mustafa Kemal made his start in Samsun and led the national struggle in Anatolia. After this struggle, an organization started to save the country from the occupation of foreign soldiers.

To put it briefly, the first steps of today’s Turkey started to be taken on May 19, 1919. It is celebrated on 19 May every year, both to commemorate Atatürk and to organize various activities for youth and sports, the two concepts to Ataturk attaches the most importance.

3. August 30 Victory Day

The Battle of the Commander-in-Chief, which was very effective in determining the outcome of the War of Independence on 30 August 1922, resulted in victory. For this reason, August 30 is celebrated as Victory Day in Turkey. Although the occupation troops left the country’s borders at a later date, August 30 symbolically represents the day that the country’s territory was taken back.

4. October 29 Republic Day

Republic Day is the national holiday that represents the declaration of the Republic administration by the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 29 October 1923. It is celebrated with enthusiasm in Turkey and Northern Cyprus on October 29 every year. The founding leader of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, with his 10th Anniversary Speech on 29 October 1933, expressed 29 October as the biggest holiday.

What are the Religious Holidays Celebrated in Turkey?

In general, two major holidays are celebrated in Islam. These holidays are listed as follows;

  • Feast of Ramadan,
  • Eid-al-Adha.

These holidays are celebrated in different ways according to the characteristics of different cultures and sects within the religion of Islam. Since Islamic holidays are calculated according to the Hijri calendar, feast days do not coincide with the same date every year in the currently used Gregorian calendar. With a ten-day regression every year compared to the previous year, Ramadan and Eid-al-Adha Feasts can coincide with different seasons. Ramadan is celebrated on the first three days of Shawwal according to the Hijri calendar, while Eid al-Adha is celebrated for four days starting from the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah. These festivals are celebrated vividly in folk traditions today.

1. The Ramadan Feast

The Ramadan Feast is a special holiday celebrated after a month of fasting. Various traditions and rituals are practiced during this period, which is defined as the month of Ramadan before the feast. During this month called Ramadan, families invite each other to dinner. In these meals, Ramadan-specific foods are on the table and elaborately rich tables are prepared.

The main feature that can be said about Ramadan and Eid al-Adha is that neighbors, friends, relatives, and friends come together on visiting trips. The people living in the cities visit the elders and relatives living in the villages on the feast days. Young people celebrate their holidays by kissing the hands of the elders. Giving money and gifts to children who kiss hands is one of the traditions practiced during the holiday. Candy and sweets are offered to the visitors. In this context, Ramadan Feast can also be expressed as “Candy Feast”.

2. Eid-al-Adha

According to the belief, it is celebrated as a feast to commemorate the fact that the ram that descended from the sky when the Prophet Abraham was going to sacrifice his son to God, took the place of the son of the prophet by the order of God.

Eid-al-Adha is quieter in terms of entertainment compared to the Ramadan Feast in Turkey. The first day of Eid-al-Adha is the day when pilgrims make sacrifices in a place called Mina in Mecca. According to the religion of Islam, sacrificing an animal is a “debt” for every servant who can afford it.

One of the common features of Ramadan and Sacrifice Feasts is mass entertainment. In particular, children and young people gather at the festival places and have fun. Holiday places give the impression of a small fair visually.

What Are Other Important Days?

Other important days celebrated in Turkey can be listed as follows;

  • 15 July Democracy and Freedom Day
  • May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day

1. July 15 Democracy and Liberty Day

On July 15, 2016, a coup attempt was made across Turkey. The people showed a superior struggle for democracy against this coup attempt. After this struggle, in memory of the victory of democracy, July 15 was accepted as the Day of Democracy and National Unity in Turkey. Every year on this date, ceremonies are held in the city squares, and events are held to commemorate the victory of democracy.

2. May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day

May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day is celebrated by workers around the world every year. This special day, which is celebrated on May 1, is accepted as the day of struggle against injustice, unity, and solidarity in our country as well as all over the world. As of 2008, the Republic of Turkey accepted the celebration of 1 May as the “Labor and Solidarity Day”. On May 1, especially in Istanbul, in large squares such as Taksim, events with very high participation are held.

How to Celebrate Eid in Turkey?

Two religious holidays are celebrated in Turkey and these holidays are Ramadan and Eid-al-Adha. While the two festivals are celebrated in basically similar ways, they may contain different details at some points.

Ramadan Feast is a holiday celebrated after a month of fasting. People get up early in the morning and make preparations for the feast. Beautiful clothes are worn, hair is done, and perfumes are applied. After the preparations, a feast is celebrated in the family. Father, mother; and then it is celebrated with all family elders. After the feast takes place in the family, it is celebrated with relatives, neighbors, and family friends. On this holiday, which is also known as the candy holiday among children, children collect the candy and chocolate offered to them at the places they visit.

Hosting guests on holidays is one of the deep-rooted traditions of our culture. Beautiful meals and desserts are prepared for the guests who will come to visit. The most preferred dessert during the holidays is baklava. Everyone dresses neatly and carefully. For the holiday, special clothes are bought by going shopping in advance.

Eid-al-Adha is celebrated in the same way as Ramadan Feast. The only difference is the sacrifice in Islamic culture, which expresses surrender to God. Eid prayer is performed by going to the mosque early in the morning. After returning home, we celebrate with our family and elders. Then, on the first day of the feast, the victim is sacrificed. In the days after the sacrifice, relatives and neighbors go to visit them to celebrate Eid.

Muslims come together and stand in solidarity through Eid. During the holidays, the little ones visit their elders. Special festivities are organized for the holidays. Hundreds of people participate in these feasts held in the squares and the holidays are celebrated with enthusiasm.

Turkey, with its cultural diversity in this way, provides many advantages to its inhabitants.

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