This week sees the end of the holy month of Ramadan (Ramazan in Turkey). For the second year, coronavirus restrictions mean that the usual celebration of the end of the month of fasting will be more subdued however, it’s still good to take a look at how it would usually be celebrated.

Ramazan Bayramı (Eid-al-Fitr)

The end of Ramazan is celebrated with three days of feasting. It’s a time of renewal and houses are cleaned from top to bottom and people don their best clothes or even buy new ones.

It’s an important time for families to be together and it is customary to visit one’s relatives, especially older ones, and kiss their hand as a sign of respect.

Children may go door-to-door, kissing hands of the grown-ups and receiving sweets and small amounts of money in return.

It’s also a time of reflection, with many families visiting the graves of those no longer around to share in the feasting.

Şeker Bayramı (Sugar Feast)

Ramazan Bayramı has an alternative name in Turkey, Şeker Bayramı (the Sugar Feast), because people treat their guests to sweets and traditional desserts during the festival.

Many Türks also give away sweets and desserts (you may have noticed shops and supermarkets piled high with all sorts of sweets and chocolate)

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.

One Şeker Bayramı tradition has the host peeling pieces of fruit for guests and practically standing over them while they eat.

Ramazan Bayramı 2020– a subdued Eid under curfew

Last year, Fethiye Times had permission to be out and about to record Ramazan Bayramı under curfew. Here’s what we found…

Things you should know

Ramazan Bayramı 2021 in Turkey will begin on Thursday, May 13 and end on Saturday, May 15.

People greet each other by saying “Bayramınız Kutlu/Mubarek Olsun“, meaning “May Your Feast Be Blessed”. If you’re new to the Turkish language it is perfectly acceptable to say “İyi Bayramlar” (Ee-ee bay-ram-lar) meaning literally “Good Holidays“.