Getting Into The Festive Spirit At Çalış Christmas Fair – Times Are A’Changin’

Over the years, we’ve watched the Çalış Christmas Fair change and grow (and taken many Christmas Fair photos in the process) and yesterday, the rains that had been forecast held off – it even got hot and sunny at one point – and the promenade along Çalış Beach was packed with both stalls and people.

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 Çalış Christmas Fair is also billed as Çalış Noel ve Yılbaşı Fuarı (the Christmas and New Year Fair). What started off a few years ago as a handful of stalls with a few Brits milling around, trying to get 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.

Christmas, Çalış Beach, Turkey

Welcome banner for the Christmas fair

We venture along there each year, if just to make ourselves feel a tad more festive. Granted, that feels a bit strange when it’s such a warm day – but needs must.

We got there early yesterday – pre Santa (aka St Nicholas or Noel Baba). And the queue for good old Noel Baba, even at our early arrival time; wow! These things are best left for those with excited kids.

We were just here for a bit of shopping – if we saw anything that took our fancy – a bit of food and then maybe an amble along, through the crowds and to the calm of Bahane for a Sunday afternoon post-shopping drink.

Çalış Christmas Fair 2014

Stalls at the Çalış Christmas Fair

This year, there were more stalls with food; chestnuts, çöp şiş kebabs (small pieces of meat on a skewer), tulumba and lokma (the sweetie goodies you can see in the top left photo).

The restaurants were all packed, too. It really does make a difference when the weather behaves. We knew one stall we wanted to visit, the ladies from Stitch and Bitch, was near the beach entrance – so we went to day hello as soon as we arrived…and immediately bought Barry’s mum’s Christmas present from them. Result!

We can’t tell you what it is just in case she reads this post, but we all love a little handcrafted present don’t we…?

And 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 kuruş and lira. The Pork Shop was there as usual, selling their various meat goods and cheeses – and, this year, newcomers Baba Fırın were there, too.

We did hope to visit their stall but it was just so busy when we walked past – we’ll go back to the actual shop another time, closer to Christmas, because you’re allowed naughty foodie treats at Christmas, aren’t you?

And just as we were doing this little video, we were spotted by Nichola and Doğan from Motif Restaurant. (You can hear Nichola say hello.) A little chat, as you do. The Christmas Fair is perfect for bumping into people you could usually go a whole winter without seeing – lots of people come out to play and we bumped into quite a few of those who were as curious as we were to see what was going on.

So really, this year, it was just a case of ambling through the stalls, taking photos, a little bit of video and getting rid of our hunger pangs with a ‘domuz değil’ (pork free) bratwurst.

This is an annual tradition for us, now. And, as we munched through our domuz değil bratwurst, we continued along the promenade, spilling bread crumbs all over ourselves, and the crowds thinned.

Çalış Beach, Christmas Fair 2014

A winter Sunday afternoon on Çalış Beach

These lot on the beach seemed completely oblivious to the goings on along the promenade behind them. They were too busy having a Sunday afternoon chill out doing a spot of fishing. We wanted to chill, too, so we continued our amble, dusted away the breadcrumbs and eventually reached the sunny seats of Bahane. And we chilled…

And we did say we would show you our Facebook December photo-of-the-day, each day on the blog. Yesterday didn’t seem apt as we published our blog post about the end of an era at Sundial. So here’s yesterday’s photo of the day for you. It is apt today because the photo is of Çalış Beach a few days ago, just after the buntings had been put up in preparation for the Christmas fair. Enjoy!

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  1. I sure do love a good Christmas market, and this one sounds like it keeps getting better and better. 🙂

  2. . . sorry we missed you, would have been nice to say ‘hello!’ Gülay had another bumper fair so I guess we’ll be back next year!

    • Aww, do you know what, our friend’s stall was really close to Gülay’s too, Alan. We’ve been a bit preoccupied of late and we just kinda walked through this year. Definitely next year as we need some more Gülay Christmas goodies.

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