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Time for sweet treats: Turkish ways of celebrating Eid Ramadan

Eid traditions in Turkey
Eid traditions in Turkey Copyright Gülçin Ragıboğlu / Getty Images via Canva
Copyright Gülçin Ragıboğlu / Getty Images via Canva
By euronews
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The religious festival Eid al-Fitr is also known as 'Sweet Feast' in Turkey. As the name suggests, the center point of the 3-day long celebration is anything sweet


The Islamic world has been fasting for the last 30 days and for those in Türkiye, it's time for unlimited sweet treats for everyone regardless of their beliefs.

The religious festival Eid al-Fitr is also known as 'Sweet Feast' (Şeker Bayramı) in Türkiye.

As the name suggests, the centre point of the 3-day long celebration is anything sweet; candies, chocolate, and Turkish delight, and perhaps unsurprisingly homemade baklava is the star of the show.

A day before Eid, many shops and markets stay open till late for the last-minute shoppers to grab bags of sweets, new clothes especially for children, and bottles of eau de cologne.

Shoppers at the market for Eid Ramadan in IstanbulAA

At the same time, masters of the kitchen will have a busy time preparing baklava or its varieties and rolling up stuffed vine leaves, a must- have dish for special occasions.

The typical Eid day begins with a special prayer at the mosques in the morning. Although its obligatory for men in Islam to attend the prayer, some women also participate.

When everyone is back home from the mosque, the family members wish each other happy Eid in a special way: with a hand-kiss. 

The young kisses the right hand of the elder before touching it with the forehand.

Hand-kissing traditionAA

The kisser, if a child, receives sweets, chocolate or pocket money. Rarely, they may also get a handkerchief from those who try to keep the traditions alive.

Breakfast tables are usually crowded with extended members of the family, however it does not stay set for too long. Knowing that sweets and chocolates will be offered during the day, eating is kept short. 

While families pay short visits to neighbours and relatives, the older generation usually stays at home knowing that the younger loved ones will knock on the door. 

Children get together to go round house to house filling up their bags with colourful candy or with change. 

AA, Pexels
Ramadan Eid traditions in TurkeyAA, Pexels

Visitors are always greeted with eau de cologne during Eid, a regular custom for welcoming guests in Türkiye. The freshener had its heyday during the pandemic with its high level of alcohol, acting like a disinfectant.

Then comes the treats. To get together with as many relatives and friends, Ramadan home visits are usually kept short. That's why the host prepares munchables rather than rich dinner tables. 

Stuffed wine leaves, cookies and puffy pastry only accompany the main treat: baklava or similar sweet desserts made with syrup. 

The cycle up meet-ups continue for 3 days, although the number of those opting to go on a holiday away from family and friends are increasing. 

Late loved ones are also not forgotten. Families visit cemeteries during the first day of Eid or the day before to pray for the departed on this special religious occasion.

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