The Festival begins on the afternoon of Monday 15th November through until Friday 19th November. But what is it all about?
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 Tuesday 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.
This year though the cost of buying livestock has remained very high and some families may not be able to afford to buy.
The shortage has been created by higher than usual exports of livestock to neighbouring countries.
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 they will positively welcome you into their homes over the Byram.
Banks, public offices and schools will be closed during the holiday period but most shops and supermarkets will remain open – see notices for any adjusted opening times.
Iyi Bayramlar! As we say in Turkey.