Which Holidays Do Turks Celebrate?

Turkey, with its rich cultural and religious heritage, celebrates various holidays and special days throughout the year. These holidays are significant in fostering community unity and preserving cultural values and traditions. Here are the main holidays celebrated by Turks:

Religious Holidays

Ramadan Feast (Şeker Bayramı): The Ramadan Feast, celebrated at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, marks the conclusion of fasting, one of the Five Pillars of Islam. This three-day holiday involves special prayers, visiting elders, and giving sweets and chocolates to children. Family and friends visit each other, emphasizing the importance of charity and solidarity.

Feast of Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı): The Feast of Sacrifice, or Kurban Bayramı, starts on the 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days. It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The main ritual involves the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep, goat, or cow, and distributing the meat to the needy. The holiday includes special prayers, family visits, and a strong emphasis on helping others.

National Holidays

April 23 National Sovereignty and Children’s Day: This holiday, celebrated on April 23, marks the opening of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1920 and was dedicated to children by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Various events are held across Turkey and worldwide, with children reciting poems, performing dances, and participating in various activities. Children also symbolically take over governmental positions for a day.

May 19 Commemoration of Atatürk, Youth and Sports Day: This holiday, celebrated on May 19, commemorates the start of the Turkish War of Independence led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in 1919. It is dedicated to the youth and features sports activities, parades, and various performances. Atatürk gifted this day to the youth, making it highly significant for them.

August 30 Victory Day: Victory Day, celebrated on August 30, commemorates the victory in the Battle of Dumlupınar in 1922, which was a decisive battle in the Turkish War of Independence. The day honors the Turkish Armed Forces with military parades, official ceremonies, and celebrations that highlight the strength and independence of the nation.

October 29 Republic Day: Republic Day, celebrated on October 29, marks the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923. It is one of Turkey’s most important national holidays, celebrated with ceremonies, parades, fireworks, and various events. The day commemorates the foundation of the Republic and the reforms led by Atatürk with great enthusiasm.

Other Important Days

May 1 Labor and Solidarity Day: May 1 is an important day to recognize and celebrate the rights of workers and laborers. In Turkey, labor unions and worker organizations organize marches and various events to mark the day.

November 10 Atatürk Remembrance Day: On November 10, the day of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s death in 1938, remembrance ceremonies are held across the country. At 09:05 AM, sirens sound nationwide, and people observe a moment of silence. Atatürk’s legacy is honored with events in schools and public institutions.


The holidays celebrated in Turkey reflect the country’s religious and national values, cultural richness, and social unity. These holidays provide important opportunities to remember the past, pass on cultural heritage to future generations, and bring together all segments of society. During these special days, people come together to share their joys and sorrows, strengthening a common cultural identity.