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Ramadan in Turkey

The holy month for Muslims all around the globe, Ramadan is a month to refrain from food and non-necessities between the sunrise and sunset, to understand and appreciate their values.

Ramadan is not just a time of abstinence from food, but a time to look at yourself as an individual, and the society you live in. It is a month of thinking about yourself and think deeper to find solutions for your troubles, as well as appreciate your life. 

Day to Day

For some, such as first-timers, or old people, continuing the daily routine may be hard while fasting. Yet life will always continue. The shops will be open alongside cafes and restaurants. Offices and schools will continue to operate. Meanwhile, homes will begin to plan for the feast at the end of the day from noon. Among the cooked food, the freshly baked Pide bread from the bakeries (Firin) is perhaps the most anticipated food of the dinner tables. People get in line from half an hour early by their local bakeries to pick up the freshest pide bread to break their fast with.

At night, a tradition has been continuing on the Turkish streets since the Ottoman Empire era. Although not sleeping until the sunrise for the first/last meal of the day is also doable, those who rest will be woken up by walking drummers. These drummers have been walking the same streets for centuries now, and it is an acceptable job line that requires months of training, from playing the right rhythm, to learn routes best so that no two drummer walks on the same street.

When in public, those who do not fast are best to refrain from eating and drinking if possible. Locations such as restaurants are safe to do so, but you never know who might be fasting in a metro station.

The Festival of Eid

In Turkey, the holiday Eid at the end of Ramadan is also known as “Candy Day,” because kids walk around their neighborhood to kiss the hands of their elders, and receive candy in return. Religious locations such as Istanbul, and Konya are great places to be during this Holiday. In Istanbul especially, the Grand Mosque in Fatih right across from Hagia Sophia is the top spot to break the final fast with family and community. On this day, the public usually prepares shows based on Ottoman Era, with leftover clothing from then. Most Turkish people use this holiday to travel around the country either for vacation or to visit their relatives, so Eid is the perfect time to visit large cities for a tourist.

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