Thursday, 10 October 2013

Kurban Bayrami - The Feast of the Sacrifice (updated post)

Kurban Bayrami is the most important Religious Festival of the year and is a four and a half day holiday. This year the festival commences on Monday 14th October with the half day 'Arife' which is a day of preparation for the festival ahead.


Kurban Bayrami which falls around 70 days after Ramazan, is the festival of sacrifice in memory of the ram sacrificed by Ibrahim in place of his son Ishmael. In Islamic rules every family who can afford to should sacrifice an animal, sharing the meat with family, friends, neighbours and the poor. One third of the animal being kept by the family, one third being given to friends and neighbours and one third being donated to the poor.

Some of the large herds of goats and sheep having been coming back down the mountain during the last few days
Turkish law now makes it illegal to sacrifice animals in public places, however this law is not always enforced and it can be difficult to entirely avoid the sacrifices taking place, usually on the first day of the festival. In Fethiye the Beldeiye (council) will be setting up a temporary abattoir on the Tuesday Market site where people may have their animals slaughtered by professional butchers for a small charge. The animals slaughtered have to be at least one year old (in the case of camels and cattle - two years) and must be healthy. Some families prefer to make charitable donations in lieu of a sacrifice.

As with the Şeker Bayramı during the festival people will travel to visit friends and family, strengthening family ties and giving the children an opportunity to bond with older members of the family.

People will often buy their children new clothes to wear for the duration of the festival, in turn giving their old ones to poorer families. Kurban Bayrami is also the time of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

As this year's dates fall from Monday to Friday inclusive, it is likely that many people will take the opportunity to have a holiday.  So expect resorts to be particularly busy this week. With so many people travelling it means that transport can be chaotic particularly on the first and last day of the festival. So unless you have to, you are probably better avoiding the roads on these days.

Banks, schools and Government offices will be closed for the duration of the festival and shops and supermarkets will be open for reduced hours, so it is best to stock up before. Over this weekend the shops will be heaving with people stocking up for their holiday period and the markets will also be incredibly busy.

You may find that some restaurants will be closed on the first full day of Bayrami Tuesday 15th October.

This year's Kurban Bayrami concludes on the evening of  Friday 18th October.

So this year many banks, schools and official offices will be closed for a full week. Some banks may stay open until lunchtime on Monday, so be sure you have all the money you need as A.T.M.'s often also run out during the course of this week.

İyi bayramlar!

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