Celebrations in Turkey

There are nine celebrations in Turkey. Seven of them are national holidays and the other two are religious holidays.


1 January New Year's Eve

Until 00:00 on the night of December 31, everyone is eating, dancing and having fun. It is celebrated for the arrival of the new year. Then the fun and celebration continues.

23 April National Sovereignty and Children's Day

It was gifted to the children of the world by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey. While it aims to celebrate the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, which established the Republic of Turkey, taking the sovereignty from the sultan and giving it to the people, Children's Day aims to delight the poor children who were orphaned during the war in a spring festival environment. The tradition of accepting children to the office, which started with Atatürk, continues today in the form of children replacing the civil servants at the head of state institutions for a short time.

1 May Labor and Solidarity Day

It is the day of unity, solidarity and struggle against injustice, celebrated by workers and workers around the world. In many countries around the world, it is considered a public holiday. It was officially celebrated in Turkey for the first time in 1923.

19 May Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day

On May 19, 1919, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk landed in Samsun on the Bandırma Ferry, and this is considered the day the Turkish War of Independence started against the occupation of the Allied Powers. Atatürk gifted this holiday to Turkish youth.

15 July Democracy and National Unity Day

A group of soldiers, organized under the name of the Peace at Home Council within the Turkish Armed Forces, attempted a coup against the 65th Turkish Government and the Turkish President on July 15, 2016. On the morning of July 16, the coup attempt was suppressed as a result of the operations carried out by the personnel of the Turkish Armed Forces and the General Directorate of Security. As a result of the events, 248 people (180 civilians, 62 policemen, 6 soldiers) who opposed the coup lost their lives.

30 August Victory Day

It is an official and national holiday celebrated on August 30 every year in Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to commemorate the Great Offensive that ended in victory under Atatürk's command in Dumlupınar on August 30, 1922.

29 October Republic Day

The proclamation of the Republic was declared in Ankara with 101 artillery shells and it was celebrated in a festive mood all over the country, especially in Ankara, between October 29 and October 30, 1923. Then, 29 October was declared as Republic Day.

Eid Ramadan

Eid prayers are performed in mosques on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. After the Eid prayer, people celebrate each other's Eid by visiting their friends and relatives during the Eid. During these visits, cologne, sweets and sweets are usually served.

Eid Adha

It is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims for four days. In this holiday, meat is distributed to the poor, children are given holiday allowance, family elders and friends are visited.


Public holidays in Turkey are basically divided into two groups as national holidays and general holidays. The only national holiday in the country is Republic Day. Public holidays include official and religious holidays. official holidays; National Sovereignty and Children's Day, Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day and Victory Day. Religious holidays are the Sacrifice and Ramadan Feasts. Other public holidays are New Year's Day, Labor and Solidarity Day, and Democracy and National Unity Day.

The characteristics of these holidays celebrated in a festive atmosphere in cities and towns; military parades, torch regiments, etc. Segmen, zeybeks and other folk dance teams participate in "official" performances with their special clothes. However, after the official demonstrations are over due to these holidays, the entertainments organized by the workers and tradesmen among themselves in the government or municipality square until late at night in some places add a different meaning to these festivities.

Drum and zurna teams also participate in these entertainments. Whereas in Anatolian towns each place plays its own games, in big cities such as Istanbul and Ankara, the entertainments look like a kind of "folk dance festival" since different groups attend these meetings with their performances. In many places, after official ceremonies, wrestling, races and other kinds of competitions are held in the meadows, which are considered as the place of feast.

In the past years, political parties organized entertainments with drums and zurnas on official holidays, ensuring that the holidays were more lively, on the other hand, they entered a competition environment with other parties. Thus, festive traditions have also had their share of change.

If you want to learn more about this article, click here.

Print   Email