Turkey has a lot of festivals that everyone can join and have a great time. From art to religious festivals, and, also, food festivals. As a country hosting millions of people, Turkey has to enliven up the days and nights of its beloved residents with various events and festivals. We made you a list of some of our famous festivals.
The Antalya Film Festival which people knew as Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival. It started in 1963 in Antalya. It is the second most important film festival in Turkey. The cultural activities like concerts and theater plays, which took place at the historical Aspendos Amphitheatre. It formed headstone of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival today. It became traditional in the beginning of the 1960s. Therefore, In 1963, the festivities turned into a film festival with the initiation Dr. Avni Tolunay. The jury chose the fruit orange as the logo of the festival. Moreover, It is the most important symbol of the region.
The Istanbul International Music Festival is a cultural event that happens every year between June and July. It offers a selection of European classical music, ballet, opera and traditional music. Therefore, lots of artists comes to Turkey to perform their art. The festival started in 1973. It has aimed to show finest examples of artistic creativity. It is one of the most important festivals in Turkey. On the other hand, According to a famed international musicologist, the Festival bridges cultural and religious divisions.
The Istanbul International Film Festival is the first and oldest international film festival in Turkey. Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts organized the festival since the beginning. It is held every year in April in movie theaters in Istanbul, Turkey. The festival aims to encourage the development of cinema in Turkey. And, also, to promote films of quality in the Turkish cinema market. Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts firstly organized the Istanbul International Film Festival in 1982. The theme of the films participating in the Festival was limited to “Arts and Cinema”. The reason behind that is to keep the event within the context of the International Istanbul Festival. Beginning from 1984, the event gained an identity as a separate activity. They shifted the festival to the month of April. In 1985, they included two competitive sections in the festival program.
In the following years, The festival firmly established its position. When that happened, it took its place among the major film festivals of the world. Since the beginning of the Festival, a total of 2,065,000 spectators have attended the screenings of 2,330 films from 72 different countries.
Mesir Paste Festival of Manisa, Turkey, memorizes the recovery of Hafsa Sultan, mother of Suleyman the Magnificent. She was cured of a disease by the invention of a paste known as Mesir Macunu in Turkish. The Sultan then ordered that the paste be open to the public. Every year from 21 to 24 March, the paste is prepared by a chef and apprentices from 41 fresh spices and herbs according to traditional practice. A team of 14 women wrap the paste in small pieces of paper, and 28 imams and apprentices bless it before scattering the paste from the top of the minaret and the domes of the Sultan Mosque.
Thousands of people come from different regions of Turkey to compete to catch the pieces as they fall. Many believe that by so doing their wishes for marriage, work and children will come true within a year. Local people of Manisa have a deep emotional attachment to the festival. The strength of tradition creates a strong sense of solidarity among local communities, and the city welcomes guests from almost all regions of Turkey.
Sugar Feast is the other name of Ramadan Festival in Turkey, also an official holiday for three days. Administration buildings, schools and most businesses are closed during this period. Ramadan Festival is a time for visiting relatives and paying one’s respect to older people. Turkish people give away sweets, coffee and desserts during the festival, children watch free Turkish shadow plays such as Karagoz and Hacivat.
The main characteristics of Ramadan Festival are that people, neighbours, relatives and friends pay visits and go to see each other. Young people kiss their parents’ hands and receive best wishes and blessings from them. It is a tradition to give money or little gifts to those childreen who kiss one’s hands. During the Ramadan Festival in Turkey, people come together, celebrate and entertain each other. In cities and villages, children and young people in particular meet each other at festival places and have fun.