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Important Days Celebrated in Turkey

There are many days that Turkish citizens celebrate during the year that have a special meaning. It is possible to divide these days into religious holidays and national holidays. Religious holidays are generally special days included in the Islamic religion and are celebrated in Turkey like every Muslim country. These are Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr. National holidays, on the other hand, are days that have special meanings in the process until the Republic of Turkey gains its independence. A few of them can be exemplified as Victory Day, Republic Day, Youth and Sports Day.

National Holidays

National holiday is the name given to national holidays celebrated in a country.

April 23, National Sovereignty and Children’s Day

National Sovereignty and Children’s Day is the national holiday of Turkey, celebrated on April 23 every year, presented by the Turkish Grand National Assembly to all children of the world, not only to Turkish children, in honor of the establishment of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on April 23, 1920.

May 1, Workers and Laborers’ Day

May 1, Workers and Laborers’ Day, is the day of unity, solidarity and struggle against injustice, celebrated by workers and laborers 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.

May 19, Youth and Sports Day

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

July 15, The Day of Democracy and National Unity

The Day of Democracy and National Unity is a public holiday celebrated on July 15 every year in Turkey. A general holiday was declared to commemorate the more than 240 civilians, police and soldiers who lost their lives during the 2016 Turkish military coup attempt.

August 30, Victory Day

Victory Day is an official and national holiday celebrated on 30 August 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 30 August 1922.

October 29, Republic Day

Republic Day is a national holiday celebrated in Turkey and Northern Cyprus every year on 29 October, in memory of the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s declaration of the Republic administration on 29 October 1923.

Religious Holidays

In Islam, there are two major holidays: Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.

Eid al-Fitr ( “Şeker Bayramı’’ i.e. “Bayram of Sweets”, or, “Ramazan Bayramı”, i.e. “Ramadam Bayramı”)

Eid al-Fitr (Arabic: عيد الفطر Îdü’l-Fitr, Persian: عید فطر Îd-ı Fitr) or Sugar Feast is a religious holiday celebrated for three days in the Islamic world after Ramadan, which is the month of fasting. It is celebrated on the first three days of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.

Eid Al-Adha (“Kurban Bayramı’’, i.e. “Sacrifice Bayram’’)

It is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims for four days starting from the 10th day of the month of Dhul-Hijjah according to the Hijri calendar. As an Islamic religious term, Qurban means an animal that is slaughtered, sacrificed, with the intention of getting closer to Allah and attaining the consent of Allah. Based on the story about the Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael mentioned in the Qur’an, the concept of sacrifice expresses a much more general devotion, the ability of the individual to sacrifice everything for God, submission to God and being thankful for Him.

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