Kurban Bayram in Turkey

Wow, the last time we posted on Kurban Bayram was on the 30th November last year – our second ever blog post. We’re careering headlong to being one year old! In Turkey, Kurban Bayramı is the time of year where goats are sacrificed, new clothes are bought, the roads become much busier, intercity buses are full, families get together, holidays are enjoyed.

Grazing Goat at Kurban Bayram

The goat population of Turkey is set to drop significantly tomorrow

Last year, we concentrated on the goat – sorry, just couldn’t resist another goat photo – and the new clothes, but this year, I’ve been influenced by a couple of articles in the English version of Hürriyet that have got me thinking. And what I’m thinking is that over the next 20 years or so, the face of summer tourism in Turkey and beyond is going to change. Why?

As you’re no doubt aware, the Islamic calendar follows a lunar cycle and so, in the Gregorian calendar, any Islamic holy event (such as Kurban Bayramı) falls 11 days earlier each year. Ramazan, Şeker Bayramı and especially Kurban Bayramı have fallen over the autumn and winter months in all the time we have been familiar with Turkey. Now, however, these important events in the Islamic calendar are increasingly inching towards the Turkish summer months.

Çalış Beach

Many Turkish people will head to the coast for Bayram…

In Turkey, depending on which days the festival falls over, the holiday is sometimes made longer. For instance, this year, Kurban Bayramı officially begins tomorrow and ends on Friday. As this is most of the working week, the holiday has been extended to a 9-day break, taking in both weekends…meaning more time for visiting families and taking a holiday.

This week, Hürriyet reported that more Turkish people were taking holidays over the festival of the sacrifice than ever before. Domestically, Jolly Tours have stated that Black Sea tours are sold out, there’s hardly a hotel bed to be had in Antalya and TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) has sold all its hotel availability. According to Jolly Tours, they are also flying 100,000 Turkish people abroad over the holiday period. You can read the complete Hürriyet article here. There are also some great comments at the bottom of the post!

Over the coming years, it appears summer tourism in Turkey is in for a huge boost over the festival periods and it’ll be interesting to see if other countries start to target more Turkish tourists in the future.

Obviously, Kurban Bayramı is a very important festival for all Turkish people. Yeşim, an Istanbul girl who is author of the blog, Yesim Style Kitchen has written about it in her post today.

To all who are travelling and all who are celebrating Kurban Bayramı, iyi yolculuklar, iyi bayramlar!

Kurban Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun!

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  1. Hi Julia and Barry. Great post which gives a lot of room for thought. I read somewhere that Malaysia is targeting Turkish tourists. On another note, I am at the mother in laws tomorrow with a sheep in the garden! That is another tradition that makes people wonder if it will still be around in twenty years time. I saw a section on the news which suggested people are turning away from it in the western regions.

  2. Ohh, interesting, re the tourism. He he, have fun tomorrow. The tradition is still alive and well here. We had goat curry a couple of years ago. Yummy! 🙂

  3. tx you , you such a tell in a sweet way about kurban bayramı:) Bayramınız kutlu olsun;)

  4. 🙂 Yeşim, thanks and teşekkürler. Iyi Bayramlar.

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