Over the years, we’ve watched the Çalış Christmas Fair change and grow (and taken many Christmas Fair photos in the process).
Weather permitting, this annual event is always a huge success, bringing thousands of people out along the beach promenade to shop, eat and drink.
And for those people with kids, they’re here to see Santa Claus (aka St. Nicholas or, in Turkey, Noel Baba) parade through the crowds and take his seat in his grotto.
Çalış Christmas Fair – For All
New Year is a big thing for many Turkish families in Fethiye – and trees and decorations are put up in homes, just as we do for Christmas.
Now, the Christmas Fair in Çalış is also billed as Çalış Noel ve Yılbaşı Fuarı (the Christmas and New Year Fair).
A Growing Christmas Fair
What started off originally as a handful of stalls with a few Brits milling around, trying to lay their hands on anything remotely festive-looking, is now a full on day out with a hefty percentage of the Fethiye population wandering through at some point.
We venture along there each year, if just to make ourselves feel a tad more festive.
Granted, that feels a bit strange if it’s a warm sunny day – but needs must.
We’re not there for Father Christmas. We can leave that to the kids.
We go to soak up the atmosphere and to do a bit of shopping. There are regular traders there as well as those taking the opportunity to sell some of their creations.
The Çalış Christmas Fair is a perfect opportunity to buy handmade crafts as gifts for friends, family – or as a gift to yourself!
Top Up On Christmas Decorations
We shop for Christmas decorations, gifts, treats and, of course, any edibles that take our fancy.
There are always lots of foodie treats available; most of them are also homemade.
Chestnuts, çöp şiş kebabs (small pieces of meat on a wooden skewer), tulumba and lokma.
The restaurants are really busy, too – a great business boost fort them. And of course, it really does make a difference when the weather behaves.
It’s inevitable, when you go to events like this, that you see familiar faces and familiar names. Local charities and businesses get themselves a stall at the Christmas fair these days, and why not.
Great for branding and they get a bumper day of customers looking to spend some festive lira.
Lots of people come out to play and we bump into quite a few of those who are as curious as we were to see what’s going on.
Time For Domuz Değil Bratwurst
Annual tradition for us is getting rid of our hunger pangs with a ‘domuz değil’ (pork-free) bratwurst.
Munching through our domuz değil bratwurst (it’s usually a turkey sausage), we continue along the promenade. Spilling bread crumbs all over ourselves until the crowds start to thin at the far end.
Or Perhaps A Gözleme
Once you’ve exhausted all the Çalış Christmas Fair stalls and had your fill of shopping, you can get yourself a seat at one of the bars or restaurants that isn’t hosting an array of stalls and enjoy what they have to offer.
Çalış Christmas Fair is an event that brings the community together and, when it coincides with dry, makes for a perfect opening weekend to December.
The Fethiye area hosts numerous annual and one-off events throughout the year. Keep an eye on our Fethiye events calendar for events that might be taking place when you are in town.