Guest Author - Rachel Schaus
If planning a visit to Turkey, it's important to know the major holidays when when banks or other offices will be closed. Turkey follows both the Sunni Muslim holidays as well as national and political holidays.
Here is the main list, with a somewhat phonetical pronunciation of the holidays in Turkish.
January 1 - New Year's Celebrations (YIlbasha)
April 23 - Children's Holiday (Chojuk Bayrama)
May 1 - International Worker's Holiday (Ishchee Bayrama)
May 19 - Youth and Sports Holiday (Genchleek ve Spor Bayrama)
August 30 - Victory Holiday (Zafer Bayrama)
October 29 - Republic Holiday (Jumhuriyet Bayrama)
November 10 - The time of Ataturk's passing (Ataturk oo Anma Goonoo)
Ramadan/Ramazan Holiday - Ramadan in 2013 will start on Tuesday, the 9th of July and will continue for 30 days until Wednesday, the 7th of August.
Sugar Holiday - this is a tradition in Turkey for the last 3 days of Ramazan, the children will come around to each apartment door and expect candy, much like the American Halloween.
Republic Holiday - We were surprised to also have children come around on this holiday asking for candy. Thankfully, we had some we could give them.
Turkish Holiday Greetings:
"Bayraminiz kutlu olsun!" - May your holiday be blessed!
"Iyi bayramlar!" - Happy Holidays!
Don't be surprised if you see lots of Turkish flags everywhere, even on the more religious holidays. Turks are extremely patriotic and will hang the Turkish flag down the side of office buildings, over the railings of their apartments, and as a decoration on the back of the car or from the rear-view window.
On November 10, the time of Ataturk's passing is 9:05am. It is common to see a moment of silence observed at that time. While he lived most of his life in Istanbul, his mausoleum is in Ankara. If you’re in Turkey on this day, at exactly at 9:05am, all traffic will stop, work at the office and school will pause, and people will get out of their cars to observe a moment of silence along with the rest of the nation.