The Festival begins on the afternoon of Wednesday 24th through until Sunday 28th October. But what is it all about and will it affect my holiday?
Kurban Bayram – The Festival of the Sacrifice marks the famous ‘biblical’ story where God showed mercy to Abraham by allowing him to sacrifice a ram instead of his son.
All over Turkey families save up and buy a sheep, goat or bull, and then take it to a licensed place where it gets its throat cut in the traditional Halal way.
Some people still do this in their back yards, but that is now ‘illegal’, so the practice should start to die out in all but the most rural of locations (read Fethiye).
Animals are then skinned and jointed, with a large proportion being passed on to the poor and the skins sent to the army/airforce. You may see vehicles driving around collecting the skins.
Some of the meat is cooked up very quickly and eaten reverently.
No alcohol is consumed with this meat.
Most animals will be slaughtered on the first full day of the holiday.
Fethiye Belediye will set up a temporary abattoir on the site of the Tuesday market where those wishing to sacrifice can take their animals to have them professionally slaughtered. A small charge of is levied for smaller animals and rising for larger beasts such as cattle.
It is also a time when friends and families get together in a similar way that Christians do over the Christmas period. Sweets, baklava, chocolate and other goodies are shared and enjoyed also.
If you have Turkish neighbours where you are staying they will positively welcome you into their homes over the Byram. Take up the offer and learn about the culture.
Will it Affect My Holiday?
Maybe a little as banks will be closed during the holiday period but most shops and supermarkets will remain open – see notices for any adjusted opening times.
Hotels and resorts will be busy with Turkish tourists taking advantage of the long public holiday.
If you plan to travel during the lead up or end of the holiday period public transport will be very busy so book ahead if you want to guarantee a seat on long distance bus or internal flights.
Is There a Holiday Greeting?
Yes, it is “Iyi Bayramlar!”