Fethiye municipality is organizing the traditional Ramadan Feast.
The Ramadan Feast in Turkey is a time for visiting relatives and paying one’s respect to older people. Many Turks give away sweets and desserts during the festival, and children may mind free Turkish shadow plays. The Ramadan Feast in countries such as Turkey is a time for families to get together and join in activities such as sharing special meals.
What do people do?
Many people wake up early on the first day of the Ramadan Feast. They place on their best clothes, called bayramlık, which they often buy specifically for the occasion, and have a large breakfast. This symbolizes the end of the fasting period, which many Muslims observe during the preceding month of Ramadan.
The Ramadan Feast has an alternative name in Turkey, the Sugar Feast (Şeker Bayramı), because people treat their guests to sweets and traditional desserts during the festival. It is customary to visit one’s relatives, especially older ones, and kiss their hand as a sign of respect. Children may go door-to-door, kissing hands of the grown-ups and receiving sweets and small amounts of money in return.
Turkish shadow plays, such as Karagöz and Hacivat, are well loved during the Ramadan Feast, and children can mind these plays at fairs free of charge. In a more recent tradition, some people use the official holiday to travel abroad or go to Turkish resorts.
The Ramadan Feast is an official holiday that continues for three days in Turkey. Administration buildings, schools and most businesses are closed during this period. Public transport may run less frequently, and fares are usually lower compared to regular days. Highways may be overcrowded, especially in the morning of the first day and in the afternoon of the last day of the Ramadan Feast, as many people travel on these days.
The Ramadan Feast is the first day of Shawwal, which is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar. Each month in the Islamic calendar starts with the first sighting of the new moon. As a result, the exact dates of the Ramadan Feast change every year, according to the Gregorian calendar. Celebrating the Ramadan Feast after a month of fasting is one of the earliest and most vital traditions of Islam.
The symbols of the Ramadan Feast include:
- A new moon.
- Sweets or traditional desserts.
- A cup of Turkish tea or coffee.
These symbols can be seen in artwork related to the Ramadan Feast in Turkey.
Eid Ul-Fitr Celebration
Eid Ul-Fitr: is a Muslim holiday that inscription the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fitr means “contravention the quick”. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal. This is a day where Muslims around the world try to show a ordinary goal of unity. It is a day of recognizance of God.
It is a public holiday, where schools and government offices are generally closed for the entire three-day period of the celebrations. The celebrations of this bayram are infused with national traditions. It is customary for people to greet one another with Bayramınız kutlu olsun (“May your bayram be blessed”) or Bayramınız mübarek olsun (“May your bayram be blessed”). Mutlu Bayramlar (“Pleased Bayram“) is an alternative phrase for celebrating this bayram. It is a time for people to attend prayer services, place on their best clothes (referred to as bayramlık, often bought just for the occasion), visit all their loved ones (such as relatives, neighbours, and friends), and pay their excellent wishes to the departed with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, fleeting bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. The first day of the bayram is generally regarded as the most vital, with all members of the family waking up early, and the men going to their neighbourhood mosques for the special bayram prayer.
It is regarded as especially vital to honour elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one’s forehead while wishing them bayram greetings. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighbourhood, door to door, and wish everyone a “Pleased Bayram,” for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as baklava and Turkish Delight, or a small amount of money at every door, akin to the Halloween custom in the United States.
Municipalities all around the country organize fund-raising events for the poor, in addition to public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre and even performances by the Mehter – a Janissary Band founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.