There are multiple important days to celebrate in Turkey like the national and religious holidays. We like to celebrate national holidays out in the streets or at our schools with dance, music, poetry, or performances. But our religious holidays are mostly celebrated through visiting our loved ones. I’m saying mostly because the time has changed and due to our religious holidays being long, people prefer going on vacations instead of visiting loved ones. Otherwise using weekends to go on vacation is relatively short to relax. For this reason, an idiom was formed to commemorate old holidays. So, we say, where did the old holidays go?
Candy & Turkish Delight
Candy and Turkish Delight, known as "Lokum," are delightful confections that add a touch of sweetness to religious holiday celebrations in Turkey. Once the holidays are around the corner our supermarkets are filled with several different brands of candy, chocolate, and Turkish delights. They’re frequently offered as a gesture of hospitality to guests during family gatherings and visits, further enhancing the festive atmosphere.
One of the cherished customs during religious holidays in Turkey is the tradition of wearing brand-new clothes. Families take great pride in dressing their loved ones in fresh attire, symbolizing a sense of renewal, prosperity, and respect for the occasion. Both adults and children are adorned in traditional or contemporary outfits, adding a vibrant splash of color and style to the celebrations.
Religious holidays offer a precious opportunity for Turkish families to strengthen ties and foster a sense of togetherness. Visiting relatives, particularly older family members, holds great significance. It is customary for younger members to visit their elders and express their love and respect. These visits not only strengthen familial bonds but also provide an occasion for storytelling, reminiscing, and sharing heartfelt moments.
A beautiful tradition observed during religious holidays in Turkey is the gesture of "kissing hand." Younger individuals show their respect and gratitude to their elders by gently raising the elder's hand to their forehead as a sign of reverence. This act symbolizes love and respect. It is a touching display of familial bonds and cultural values. Also, after kissing hand, the elders give pocket money to the young at least until they find a job. The amount of money given increases according to the age. If it is a kid, they may get 10-20 Turkish liras, but older kids get up to 200 and even more.
Baklava, a rich and decadent pastry, holds a special place in Turkish cuisine and is a centerpiece of religious holiday celebrations. Families often gather to prepare this delicacy, meticulously layering thin sheets of dough with a mixture of nuts, honey, and spices. The aroma of baking Baklava fills the air, signaling the arrival of the festive feast. Sharing homemade Baklava with loved ones and guests is an act of generosity and a gesture of love and hospitality.
Religious holidays in Turkey are not just about prayers and spiritual devotion; they are also occasions for indulgence, family bonds, and cultural traditions. From the sweetness of Turkish Delight and homemade Baklava to the joy of donning brand-new clothes, Turkish people celebrate these festive occasions with a blend of faith, love, and heritage. If you like to learn about our culture and throw a little holiday celebration yourself, you can always get yourself a box of Turkish Munchies snack boxes around the world and experience it. For holidays the best box choice would be the Traditional edition!
Here is the link to our boxes: