Best time to go to Turkey

Kurban Bayramı or Feast of the Sacrifice 2018

Tables will bend under the weight of meat dishes during the four festive days

Kurban Bayramı or Feast of the Sacrifice in Turkey - Best Time
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© Atakan Eser

The festival is held in commemoration of the religious event when Prophet Ibrahim agreed to sacrifice his son for Allah. Seeing that devotion Allah showed compassion and took a ram instead of the boy. Today, Turks make similar sacrifices by slaughtering sheep and cows and donating the meat to the poor and needy. The Feast of Sacrifice is celebrated nationwide annually on the 70th day after the end of Ramadan. Similarly, the dates are different every year. Like during the holy month, this is the time to visit older relatives. There's a nice tradition that obliges the younger to kiss the hands of the older as a token of respect. Unlike Ramadan that is mostly famous for sweet desserts, Kurban Bayramı is all about meat. Turkish Muslims feast on fried meat, meat stews, vine leaves stuffed with meat, meat pastries and things alike.

Kurban Bayramı or Feast of the Sacrifice in Turkey - Best Season

The four-day celebration begins on the festival's eve called "Arefe". All private offices, schools and other establishments are closed in the afternoon for four following days. In the morning of the first day of celebration, people go to the mosque for a festive prayer which is followed by the ritual sacrifice of rams, lambs and bulls. In some regions, the animals to be sacrificed have henna-painted foreheads and are ornated with ribbons. Traditionally, one-third of meat is given to relatives and neighbours, the second third is given to the poor, and the last third remains at home and is served for visitors and guests. Sacrifices are carried out along with the offerings,—those who have experienced success or recovered from a serious illness are supposed to make an offering.