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Public Holidays in turkey

Turkey Public Holidays

Official Holidays

Jan 1: New Year's Day

Apr 23: National Sovereignty and Children's Day (anniversary of the establishment of Turkish Grand National Assembly)

May 1: Labour and Solidarity Day (recently added in 2009)

May 19: Ataturk Commemoration and Youth & Sports Day ( the arrival of Atatürk in Samsun, and the beginning of the War of Independence)

Aug 30: Victory Day (victory over invading forces in 1922).

Oct 29: Republic Day (anniversary of the declaration of the Turkish Republic)

Religious Holidays

Ramazan Bayrami: Three-day festival when sweets are eaten to celebrate the end of the fast of Ramadan month. Also known as "Seker (sweets) Bayrami" since it's customary to offer candies to family members and friends that are visiting.

Kurban Bayrami: Four-day festival when sacrificial sheep are slaughtered and their meat distributed to the poor. The dates of these religious festivals change according to the Islamic calendar an thus occur 10-11 days (exact difference between Gregorian and Lunar calendars is 10 days and 21 hrs) earlier each year. According to this;

Ramazan Bayrami (or Seker Bayrami) was celebrated on 9-10-11 September 2010, and it will be celebrated on 30-31 August-1 September 2011, and on 19-20-21 August in 2012.

Kurban Bayrami (Sacrifice holiday) was celebrated on 31 December 2006 - 1-2-3 January 2007 and on 20-21-22-23 December 2007. In 2010 it was celebrated on 16-17-18-19 November 2010. And it will be celebrated on 6-7-8-9 November 2011 and on 25-26-27-28 October 2012.

As you can notice, there are two Kurban Bayrami dates in 2007, it's not a mistake but it happens every 32 years. Same with Ramazan Bayrami but it happened in 2000 and won't happen again until 2032.

About Muslim Festivals & Celebrations

The Festivals of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.

There are two great festivals in Islam, 'Idul-Fitr, which falls on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic year, and 'Idul-Adha, which falls on the tenth day of Thul-Hijjah and coincides with the Yauman-Nahr, "Day of the Sacrifices" in the Hajj Pilgrimage.

Eid-ul-Fitr, Ramazan Bayrami or Seker Bayrami in Turkish (the "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast"), occurs as soon as the new moon is sighted at the end of the month of fasting, namely Ramadan. Therefore, it's also known as Ramadan holiday.

On this festival people, having previously distributed the alms which are called the Sadaqatu'l-Fitr, assemble in the vast assembly outside the city in the Igdah, and, being led by the imam, recite two rak'ahs of prayer. After prayers the imam ascends the mimbar, or pulpit, and delivers the khutbah, or oration.

The igdah is a large place especially set aside for the large congregations who will attend the special Eid prayer early in the morning and can be an open field or flat piece of ground. It is only used as such on festival days for congregational prayers, the proper place always being the mosque on other occasions.

On the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month, comes the Ramazan ki'Id, or Ramadan celebration, when every one who fasts before going to the place of prayer (igdah) should make the customary fast offering (roza ki fitrat), which consists in distributing among a few Faqirs (poor) some 5 lb. (2.5kg) of wheat or other grain, dates and fruit. For until a man has distributed these gifts or the equivalent in money, the Almighty will keep his fasting suspended between Heaven and Earth.

The Eid prayer is not only said at an unusual place but is also conducted without the usual azaan (ezan), the call to prayer. This practice of omitting the azaan was allegedly practiced by Muhammad himself and is founded on this hadith (hadis):

Jabir bin Abdullah said, "The Prophet went out on the Day of 'Id-ul-Fitr and offered the prayer before delivering the Khutba". Ata told me that during the early days of Ibn-Az-Zubair, Ibn Abbas had sent a message to him telling him that the Adhan for the 'Id Prayer was never pronounced (in the lifetime of Allah's Apostle) and the Khutba used to be delivered after the prayer.

The festival is intended to be a festive and joyous occasion. Special foods and delicacies are prepared for the day and are distributed to neighbors and friends. Despite its importance it is considered inferior to the Eid-ul-Adha (Kurban Bayrami) and is known as the "little feast".

Eid-ul-Adha, Kurban Bayrami in Turkish (the "Feast of Sacrifice") is the great festival of Islam. It is also known as Baqri-Eid (the "Cow Festival") because its most important feature is the sacrifice of an animal (cow, goat, sheep, or other appropriate beast) in commemoration of the ram sacrificed by Abraham in place of his son. In Muhammad's time a camel was usually the animal sacrificed. The command to perform sacrifices is given in Surah 22.36 and although no specific day is fixed in the Qur'an the sacrificing of animals was already practiced on the last day of the pilgrimage by the pre-Islamic Arabs and the institution was duly retained. A special prayer, similar to the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer, is also offered on this day before the animals are sacrificed.

Narrated Al-Bara: I heard the Prophet delivering a Khutba (hutbe) saying, "The first thing to be done on this day (the first day of 'Id-ul-Adha) is to pray; and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he acted according to our Sunna (traditions) " (Sahih al-Bukhari, Vol. 2, p. 37).

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