Thanks to its colorful and important history, Turkey has many meaningful holidays in its calendar, commemorating crucial moments for the Turkish people. Every year on these special days, Turkey’s citizens have an opportunity to celebrate as well as meet their families to share the holiday spirit. Six most important holidays are celebrated in Turkey, two of which are Islam-related. This article discusses holidays in Turkey in 2023.
Holidays in Turkey 2023 – national holidays
National Sovereignty and Children’s Day
Date: 23rd April
In Turkey, April 23 is the day commemorating the Grand National Assembly, which took place in 1920 during Turkey’s struggle for independence. At the same time, the Child Protection Institute in 1929 established the day as Children’s Day. This day is full of grand festivals and ceremonies for the youngest. The most important ceremony takes place at the Mausoleum of Atatürk, the first president of the Turkish Republic.
Labor and Solidarity Day
Date: 1st May
Labor Day is a very important holiday for citizens that advocate for better work conditions. Currently, this holiday is officially a national holiday, when all public and private institutions are closed. It is generally believed that it is best to avoid demonstrations on this day as they can be dangerous. Unfortunately, this holiday has been associated with violence against citizens and bloody protests for many years. The first one took place in 1923.
Youth and Sports Day
Date: 19th May
The beginning of the Turkish War of Independence falls on the day Mustafa Kemal Atatürk came to Samsun to start a popular uprising against the decision of the First World War allies to partition the territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire. Every year on May 19, a marathon is held from Samsun to Ankara, where Turkish athletes run with the national flag, which is then handed over to the Turkish president during a ceremony.
Date: 30th August
The end of August is associated with the Turks’ victory over Greece in the Battle of Dumlupinar in 1922. There are numerous military parades and air shows of the air force. On this day, the Turks commemorate Turkey’s victory against Greece in the Battle of Dumlupinar on August 26-30, 1922. On Victory Day, citizens participate in military parades in major cities. All the country’s leaders attend a ceremony at the Atatürk Mausoleum in Ankara, with colorful Turkish flags on the streets.
Date: 29th October
Republic Day, as the name suggests, is to commemorate the foundation of the Turkish Republic in 1923. It happened right after the victory of the Greco-Turkish war. Traditionally, citizens gather at national stadiums to watch Turkish performances and dances. There are many parades in the streets.
Holidays in Turkey 2023 – religious holidays
Ramazan Bayrami Holiday
Date: 21st -23rd April
Ramadan falls on the ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar each year. According to Islam, this was the day the archangel Gabriel appeared to Muhammad, passing on verses from the Koran. Therefore, it is a very important day for Muslims.
Ramadan lasts a whole month, but festival time is the only days off work. In 2023, Ramadan starts on March 22 and ends on April 20, followed by the Ramazan Bayrami festival celebration on April 21-23. There are many traditions associated with the holiday, including fasting and abstinence from stimulants from sunrise to sunset every day. During the festival time, families gather to sit down for a meal. Many traditional dishes and sweets, such as Turkish baklava, appear on the table.
Kurban Bayrami Holiday
Date: 28th June -1st July
The Feast of Offering falls on the 10th day of the 12th month of the Muslim lunar calendar. It is the day commemorating the sacrifice of Ibrahim, a son of Abraham, which was to testify to his devotion and obedience to God. Every father offers a selected animal on that day – a lamb, a cow, or a goat. In addition to sacrifice, there is a tradition of cleaning houses and feasting with family members. This period is also a time for many to honor the dead and visit the graves.
Holidays in Turkey 2023 – calendar
Holidays in Turkey and business
National holidays in Turkey, as well as religious holidays, are days off from work. Before planning a business trip or starting to contact representatives of Turkish companies, you should keep this in mind. Holidays such as Ramadan or Kurban Bayrami are movable holidays, meaning their date falls on different days and sometimes also on different months from year to year. The Turks are considered family-oriented, so they will not be eager to conclude business agreements during the reign of holidays. It should also be noted that despite the absence of official days off outside the festival during Ramadan, traffic can be significantly reduced during fasting hours. In smaller towns, restaurants or other activities may be closed until sunset.