Holidaying in Turkey during festivals

Holidaying in Turkey during festivals

Off late I have been reading a lot about Turkey and enjoying Turkey during festivals is high on my list. Did you know Turkey is one of the very few countries in the world which span across 2 continents, Europe and Asia ? Turkey is vast and its expanse boasts of awesome landscapes and natural wonders surrounded by different seas. It is as great a destination for relaxing beaches on its Mediterranean and Aegean coasts as for some of the world’s most magnificent ancient monuments, not to mention about the mouth watering national cuisine and the numerous festivals making Turkey holidays firm favourite with visitors of all ages.

Also, Istanbul, the capital city, has been nominated as European capital of culture for the year 2010.

Among the many annual festivals it boasts of, I am more interested in Camel Wrestling Festival in Selçuk. It is similar to Spanish bullfights, the Italians cockfights or like the English go hunting with hounds but it is more akin to comedy than to blood-sport. From all across the country camel owners bring their male camels where the eve of the festival is celebrated with much feasting, drinking and dancing before sleeping it off in time for the main event next morning at 10am. The festival is held during the breeding season, when the male camels are spoiling to fight for females.

Tips:- As seating is on the hillsides surrounding the field and can be muddy or wet, if possible bring something to sit on.

The other time when I would like to visit the country is during Ramzan (Ramadan). when it is a time of great celebration, something like carnival atmosphere, with trees, mosques and homes in towns are decorated with lights.

But as a traveller you need to be sensitive to specific rules by which Muslims must abide during Ramadan. The day starts prior to sunrise with a meal and then nothing should pass through the lips during daylight hours. I think this is going to be fun to do for a few days if it is permissible for outsiders. Needless to say, at the end of the day, you have a feast of Turkish delicacies to relish on. Seker Bayrami, or Festival of Sugar, is a 3-day national festival marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramzan.

And if you don’t know, Turkey’s tulip festival is held in Istanbul towards the end of April every year.
Whatever time I choose, I think my holiday in turkey would be stress free and at ease.

11 thoughts on “Holidaying in Turkey during festivals

  1. Turkey is a place I want to visit sometimes. There is a sizable Tukish population in the city I grew up in in France and I love the sound of the language and the food!
    .-= Zhu´s last [post] ..Paris By Night =-.

  2. Better to go right after Ramadan – great celebrations and parties then making it a bit more fun 🙂 Plus people are in a better mood and there are less car accidents!

  3. Excellent! Turkey is a real must do. although I warned by a Turkish colleague that during Ramadan, most places are shut and even getting food during the day is difficult.. so, you might want to watch out.

    Enjoy.. I just resumed writing and surprise, surprise.. Istanbul is on the list 🙂
    .-= Yogesh´s last [post] ..Sultanahmet – a Blast from the past =-.

  4. Istanbul is good to visit anytime 🙂 I am have visited it often; and I agree it is very festive during ramadan. Plan on living around Taxim Square area. In the past few years one is beginning to sense that it is an islamic country. Before the present government came to power, Turkey could have been any country – and Istanbul like any large metropolis.

    Food in Istanbul is phenomenal. Having visited more than 50 world cities over the decades, I still rank Istanbul up there in terms of sight and smells.

    To the poster who said that most places shutdown during ramadan; he has not lived or traveled to Istanbul, walking along Istiklal Caddesi in Beyoglu you will find all shops open and people eating during the day even in ramadan 🙂

  5. @nightndawn FYI, I never said that I know about things shutting down from personal experience. I was told this by a Turkish colleague who lives in Istanbul and subsequently, was also told the same by family friend who was in Istanbul during Ramadan. I can only go by what people said. If I was mistaken, I’m quite happy to have been corrected by what you said..
    .-= Yogesh´s last [post] ..Sultanahmet – a Blast from the past =-.

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