Kurban Bayram In Fethiye

Kurban Bayram Goats

Goats & sheep are eaten during Kurban Bayram

Today is the last day of Kurban Bayram – the festival of the sacrifice.

Many a goat has ended its days (or had its days ended for it) this weekend, let me tell you.

Traditionally, Turkish families sacrifice a goat or sheep (although qualified butchers are used more and more these days) and the meat is distributed between poorer families.

There’s not a seat to be had on the intercity buses and domestic flights and the roads are busy with people travelling to be with their families.

It’s a happy time and great to be a spectator of all this which is why I’m writing about it now because yesterday it just reminded me of when I was a kid and a tradition I’ve not thought about for ages.

You see at Bayram, the Turks – adults and kids – buy a new outfit, so when we walked up the harbour yesterday it was absolutely packed with immaculately dressed families ‘promenading’. I’ve never seen it so busy.

What did it remind me of? Easter!

It took me back to when I was about 6 or 7 and my nana telling me I had to wear new clothes on Easter Sunday or else the pigeons would shit on me (her words, not mine). This would have been great except I had no choice about what these new clothes were. Every year, my mum took me to Timpsons shoe shop in Wigan and I had to have my feet measured in that terrifying machine where the metal plates came out from the sides threatening to squish your foot. I always had to have Clarks shoes cos they were good quality and usually cos my nana was paying.

The main thing that put this picture in my head yesterday was the little kids. At Easter, when I was a kid, my other new item of clothing was always a cardigan knitted by Great Auntie Emma. Again, no choice in colours, patterns etc. Knitting was what older people did then and here, in Fethiye, it’s still all the rage…and was very evident in some of the kids outfits yesterday. They have my sympathy.

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  1. Dug up this post about Bayram and read it aloud to the family. Everyone thought it amusing. We loved the bit about the pigeons and the foot machine. Looking forward to experiencing the holiday ourselves. We’ll plan on getting to town before weeks end.

  2. @ [email protected]: Wow! How did you manage to dig this one up. This is our SECOND ever blog post on Turkey’s For Life. Ha ha. Blast from the past. And needless to say, all the little gadgets we mention at the bottom of the post are no longer there. Funny to look back. 🙂

  3. It’s a great post, I really like it, worth bringing up again. Yes, relating to the foot measuring machine and the Clarks shoes and the easter cardi (itchy and already too small). And you’re right, it does feel like Easter, and the goats are just a part of it.


  4. @ Karen: Thanks. Strange how many Brits have related to the foot measuring machine. I think there’s a couple of generations of people left scarred by that! 🙂

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