Bayram (Turkey)

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Cumhuriyet Bayramı, i.e. Republic Day, celebrations on the Bosporus in Istanbul, with the highly anticipated annual fireworks show in the national colors of red-and-white
Traditional Ramazan Bayramı, i.e. Ramadan Bayram, wishes from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, stating "Let us love, Let us be loved", in the form of mahya lights stretched across the minarets of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Bayram is the Turkic word for a nationally-celebrated festival or holiday, applicable to both national (i.e. secular) and religious celebrations. In accordance with this dual applicability, the method with which one determines the yearly timing of Bayrams is different for national and religious holidays.

Likely owing to the enduring Ottoman Turkish influence in the Balkans and parts of South-Eastern Europe, many non-Turkish peoples like Bosniaks, Albanian Muslims, Gorani people, Pomaks as well as Muslims from the Northern Caucasus such as Chechens, Avars, Ingush and Muslims from Azerbaijan, Crimea and other Turkic peoples, have similarly adopted the use of the word "Bayram", using the term "Lesser Bairam" to refer to their own Eid al-Fitr celebrations; "Greater Bairam" refers to Eid al Adha.[1]

State holidays in Turkey have set dates under the nationally-used Gregorian Calendar, while the Islamic religious holidays are coordinated and publicly announced in advance by the Government's Presidency of Religious Affairs department according to the Lunar Calendar, and are subsequently accommodated into the national Gregorian Calendar, which results in the dates for religious holidays changing every year with a shift margin of approximately 11 days.

Large scale non-Turkish or non-Islamic traditions and celebrations may similarly be called Bayram, as illustrated by Halloween being referred to as "Cadılar Bayramı" (i.e. "Bayram of Witches"), Easter as "Paskalya Bayramı" (i.e. "Easter Bayram"), Christmas as "Noel Bayramı" (i.e. "Christmas Bayram"), Passover as "Hamursuz Bayramı" ("No-dough{meaning 'yeast'} Bayram"), and Hanukkah as "Yeniden Adanma Bayramı" (i.e. "Renewal/Rededication Bayram"). However, not every special occasion or holiday is referred to as a Bayram, as illustrated by the case of World Health Day, or Liberation of Istanbul, among others.

National festivals of Turkey[edit]

Former national festival

Religious festivals of Turkey[edit]

  • Eid al-Fitr ("Şeker Bayramı", i.e. "Bayram of Sweets", or, "Ramazan Bayramı", i.e. "Ramadan Bayram"), 1st of Shawwal
  • Eid al-Adha ("Kurban Bayramı", i.e. "Sacrifice Bayram"), Dhu al-Hijjah 10-13
  • Passover ("Hamursuz" (mean matzah) bayramı, mostly celebrated by Turkish Jews or Jewish minorities and also locally celebrated by some unreligious groups as folk festival)[3]
  • Easter (It's normally called as "paskalya yortusu“ at Turkey's west but some groups in the east call it "Paskalya Bayramı)[4]

Folk festivals[edit]

  • Newroz (“Nevruz Bayramı" or "Ergenekon Bayramı" is celebrate spring equinox mostly count as real new year and justice of the God.)
  • Hidirellez bayramı is representing the starting of spring and summer days.
  • Kosaqan or Yılgayakh - A spring feast and festival Turkic and Altai folklore.
  • Sayaqan or Yhyakh - A summer feast and festival Turkish folklore. So this is a blessing, fertility and abundance ceremony.
  • Paktaqan - An autumn feast and festival Turkic and Altai folklore.
  • Paynaqan - A winter and pine tree feast and festival like Christmas in Turkic and Altai folklore.
  • Nardoqan - Nardoqan or Narduğan was a Sumerian and Turkic-Mongolian holiday, referred to the winter solstice.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Newby, Gordon (2013). A Concise Encyclopedia of Islam. London: Oneworld Publications. p. 43. ISBN 978-1-78074-477-3.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Süryaniler Paskalya Bayramı kutlamayacak".

External links[edit]

(The dictionary data base on the TDK site based on: Divanü Lugati't-Türk ("Compendium of the languages of the Turks") of Mahmud al-Kashgari, 1072–1074)