Eid ul-Fitr is the Arabic name of this religious holiday. Eid meaning “festivity” and Fitr meaning “original nature.” It refers to the restoration of one’s best human composition and the celebration of the end of the thirty days of fasting during Ramazan.
The end of Ramazan is celebrated with three days of feasting.
It’s a time of renewal: the house is cleaned from top to bottom, they go shopping for candies and chocolate and people don their best clothes or even buy new ones.
It’s an important time for families to be together – the roads are full of people doing the rounds of visits to parents, cousins, aunts and in-laws.
It’s also a time for reflection, with many families visiting the graves of those no longer around to share in the feasting.
Ramazan Bayramı is also known as Şeker (Sugar) Bayramı as the emphasis on the first day is on sweet food.
Baklava and şerbet are ever-present; muhallebi (rice pudding) and şeker pare (sweet biscuit) are commonly served. As well as the parade of desserts, there are endless savoury nibbles such as nuts, seeds and pulses.
If you’re around for Şeker Bayramı, don’t have a snack before you leave home!
During Ramazan Bayramı it is important to honor the elderly; therefore mostly the younger generation visit the older ones. Kissing the right hand of the elderly and placing it on the forehead is a custom to show respect and greet them for the bayram.
Another tradition is of children going around in their neighborhood, from door to door and wishing people a happy bayram. As a reward, they receive candies, chocolates, or even a small amount of money.
The shops and markets are full of inexpensive sweets so stock up!
Ramazan Bayramı is an official holiday that continues for three days in Turkey. Administration buildings, schools and most businesses are closed during this period.
Highways may be overcrowded, especially in the morning of the first day and in the afternoon of the last day of Ramazan Bayramı, as many people travel on these days.
People greet each other by saying “Bayramınız Kutlu/Mübarek Olsun”, meaning “May Your Feast Be Blessed”.
If you can’t remember that you can greet your Turkish friends and neighbours by saying “İyi Bayramlar”
Sources: World Food Turkey/The Istanbul Insider/Time and Date