Kurban Bayram

Kurban Bayramı celebrated two months and ten days after Şeker Bayramı is Turkey's longest religious and also secular holiday. This holiday commemorates Abraham's near sacrifice of his son Ismail (Isaac). It can be a shocking experience for some newcomers in Turkey. According to Muslim beliefs Kurban Bayram is a holiday of sacrifice were sheep and calves are sacrificed. Following Islamic tradition every devout household who can afford it buys one and the meat may then be distributed to charity. In recent years Muslims have begun to make donations to charitable institutions instead of sacrificing animals. Despite this however, your neighbor may still decide to sacrifice a sheep, and you might be surprised to see this happen in your garden! The owners of these animals sacrifice them according to appropriate Muslim traditions with the assistance of a butcher on the morning of Kurban Bayramı. In accordance with Muslim traditions 1/3 of the meat should immediately be cooked at home by the owner of the animal, 1/3 of the meat should be distributed among the poor and the last 1/3 should distributed among neighbors and relatives. 

In 2013, the holiday began with arife (preparation) on October 14 (Monday), and continued for 4 days until the evening of October 18 (Friday).

In recent years, for many, Bayrams have become also a chance for a vacation. This means that all forms of public transport are fully booked, roads are very busy and accommodation of all types in the resorts are packed with people. If you plan to travel in Bayram time, plan it in advance.



In more traditional neighborhoods however, the younger people still visit the older family members and in true Bayram tradition the young kiss the hand of the old and put it to his/her forehead. In the old days the older members of the family would put some banknotes inside handkerchiefs and give them to the children who kissed their hands. However since handkerchiefs are not commonly used anymore (paper tissues have already replaced them), this tradition is about to be lost. In some families, members meet in the house of the oldest member and they celebrate the Bayram and eat lunch together. Lokum (Turkish delight), chocolate and liqueur served in a miniature glass are offered. If you pay a Bayram visit to a family in Turkey we suggest that you not refuse anything which is offered to you. Even if you eat a very small piece it shows gratitude and will please your host.

Last update: 21.10.2013

Source: mymerhaba.com


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