The month long fast of Ramazan concludes with a three day national holday of Ramazan Bayrami (Arabic – Eid al-Fitr) and is one of the Islamic calendar’s major holidays. This three day holiday is full of family time, fun and food!
Ramazan Bayrami is, of course, a religious celebration. It is a festival to restore oneself after the fasting and growth of Ramazan. It is also called Seker Bayrami (Festival of Sweets) and the number one thing that I have learnt is to have sweets on hand. Lots and lots of sweets. This is to fulfil the tradition of children going around the neighbourhood wishing people a happy bayram. As a reward they receive a sweet, a lolly or even a coin.
We too would visit family members and in particular the older generation. We kiss their hand and place it on our forehead as is custom to show respect. We greet them with “Bayrammiz Kutlu”. We also take time to visit those who are deceased and visit the cemetery as a sign of respect.
As it is a national holiday everyone in the family has been at home which means we have had a lot of BBQ’s and outings as a group. These few days reminds me of how Christians would celebrate Christmas and I must say that Seker Bayrami is definitely high on my list of excellent fun in Turkey.
Be aware that during any national holiday most shops, banks and government offices are closed and leading up to Bayram the shopping centres and banks are overflowing with people stocking up on everything they will need over the coming festival days. There is also a lot of people on the roads with family members travelling great distances to visit loved ones. Intercity buses are packed and public transport operates on a holiday schedule so you may find yourself waiting some time for a dolmus (I know I did).