Ramazan Bayramı & Celebrating Eid al-Fitr In Turkey (End of Ramadan)

Chasing the Donkey may include affiliate links - if you decide to make a purchase through these links, we receive a commission without any additional cost to you. Disclaimer & privacy policy.
Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

I spent time in Türkiye during Ramazan Bayramı in April 2024 and have the complete low down for you. This festival, also known as Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and reflection in the Islamic calendar.

After 30 days of sunrise-to-sunset fasting, the mood shifts from one of personal introspection to communal joy and celebration. The streets come alive with people dressed in their best outfits, sharing well wishes and sweet treats, and a sense of generosity fills the air.

Turkey Travel Blog_Ramazan Bayramı In Turkey

Suppose you’re visiting Turkey at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. In that case, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the wonderful Eid al-Fitr celebrations, also known as şeker bayramı, or ‘sweet holiday.’

To help you get the most out of your visit during this time, let’s delve into what Ramazan Bayramı and how to celebrate amongst locals in Turkey.

What Is Ramazan Bayramı & How Is It Celebrated?

Ramazan Bayramı is a significant Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of fasting and spiritual reflection. It is a joyous and celebratory occasion for millions of Muslims worldwide.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn until sunset, refraining from food, drink, and other worldly desires. This period of self-discipline and deep devotion purifies the body and soul while strengthening one’s faith.

The final day of Ramadan is dedicated to the sighting of the new moon, which officially signals the start of Ramazan Bayramı.

As the first day of the new month, Ramazan Bayramı signifies a fresh beginning and a renewed sense of spirituality. It is a time for Muslims to come together with family and friends to celebrate and express gratitude for the blessings received throughout Ramadan. Parents often buy new clothes for their children, and people give desserts, especially baklava, to loved ones and neighbors.

On this special day, Muslims wake up early to perform their morning prayers, known as Salat al-Fajr. Afterward, they dress in their finest attire, emphasizing cleanliness and decency. Family members exchange greetings of “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Eid,” and give each other warm embraces.

A central aspect of Ramazan Bayramı is the act of giving Zakat al-Fitr, a form of alms or charity. Muslims are encouraged to assist those in need by offering donations to the less fortunate. This act of generosity ensures that everyone can partake in the festivities and experience the joy of the holiday.

Children eagerly anticipate the holiday, as it is a time when they receive Eidi, or small gifts, from their elders. These can be money, sweets, or toys. This gesture not only brings joy to the little ones but also teaches them the value of generosity and sharing.

The spirit of Eid al-Fitr extends beyond a single day, with festivities typically lasting up to three days or even longer in some cultures. Communities come alive with cultural performances, including dances, music, and rituals that showcase the richness and diversity of Islamic traditions.

The holiday is a time of reflection, gratitude, and celebration. It brings people together, promotes acts of kindness, and reminds us of the importance of unity and compassion. This joyous occasion allows us to appreciate our blessings and connect with loved ones while reinforcing the values taught by Ramadan.

How To Get Involved In Şeker Bayramı (Sugar Feast) Celebrations

If you’re fortunate enough to be visiting Turkey at the end of Ramazan as I did, there are several wonderful ways you can immerse yourself in the Eid al-Fitr festivities. Here are some suggestions on how you can get involved and experience the warmth and hospitality of this special occasion:

1. Attend Prayers At A Mosque

Most beautiful mosques in Turkey - Suleymaniye Mosque - Fatih, Istanbul

If you want to, you can start your Eid al-Fitr experience by joining the locals for the special Eid prayer, known as “Salat al-Eid,” at a mosque. You’ll witness the unity and devotion of the worshippers as they come together to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Remember to dress modestly (women must also cover their heads) and be respectful of the customs and practices observed within the mosque.

2. Explore Local Markets

A crowded street market with many people walking through, surrounded by buildings and various stalls. The scene is bustling under clear daylight, much like a snapshot from A Guide to Kadikoy Istanbul.

Visit the bustling markets that come alive during Eid al-Fitr. These markets, known as “Ramazan Pazarı,” offer an array of festive food, clothes, and decorations. Indulge in traditional Turkish sweets like baklava and Turkish delight, or admire the intricate designs of henna artists who are often present during this time. It’s an excellent opportunity to sample local delicacies while shopping for unique souvenirs to remember your Eid experience.

RECOMMENDED POST

3. Join Open-Air Festivals

Ramadan Festival Istanbul_Turkey

Many cities in Turkey organize open-air festivals during Eid al-Fitr. These festivals showcase traditional music, dance performances, and cultural shows that portray the rich heritage of the country.

Check local event listings and ask locals for recommendations on the best events in your area. Dancing to lively Turkish music and cheering on performers will surely make your Eid al-Fitr memorable.

4. Embrace Local Customs

One of the joys of traveling is experiencing different cultures. During Eid al-Fitr, it’s customary to exchange greetings and well wishes. Learn a few simple Turkish phrases like “Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun” (May your Eid be blessed) or “İyi Bayramlar” (Happy Eid), and share them with locals you meet along the way.

This small gesture will bring smiles to their faces and create a sense of connection.

5. Engage In Acts Of Charity

Eid al-Fitr is also a time of giving and extending kindness. Take part in charitable activities that are organized during this period, such as donating to local organizations or participating in food drives. By lending a helping hand, you’ll not only make a positive impact but also experience the true spirit of Eid al-Fitr.

Remember, the key to getting involved in Eid al-Fitr celebrations is to embrace the culture and traditions with an open heart.

Don’t hesitate to ask locals for guidance or recommendations, as they will be more than happy to share their customs and make you feel welcome.

Brands We Use And Trust

FIND ACCOMMODATION DEALS
AIRPORT AND CITY TRANSFERS
BEST LOCAL TOURS
 
 

Foods & Traditions Associated With Eid al-Fitr

As the festival that marks the end of Ramadan, you can expect a lot of food to feature during festivities. Let’s dive into the mouth-watering foods you’ll see at Eid al-Fitr in Turkey.

Kuzu Tandır

Succulent roasted lamb, slow-cooked to perfection, is a centerpiece of the Eid feast. This tender, flavorful meat is often marinated in a blend of aromatic spices, giving it a genuinely delectable taste.

Pilav

No Turkish celebration is complete without pilav, a fragrant rice dish cooked with butter, vermicelli, and various spices. This savory side dish perfectly complements the main course and is loved by all.

Baklava

Baklava - Bakery & Sweets In Istanbul

Indulge your sweet tooth with the iconic Turkish dessert, baklava. Layers of paper-thin phyllo pastry filled with crushed nuts and soaked in sweet syrup create a delightful treat that melts in your mouth.

Güllaç

This unique dessert specifically enjoyed during Eid, is made with delicate layers of rice paper and a milk-based pudding. It is served cold and garnished with rosewater and crushed pistachios, leaving a refreshing taste on your palate.

Turkish Delight

Shopping in Istanbul - Turkish Delight - Lokum

Known as “lokum,” this chewy and fragrant treat comes in various flavors, such as rose, mint, and orange. It is often served during festive occasions, including Eid al-Fitr.

Kofta

These spiced meatballs made with minced lamb or beef are a popular choice for Eid al-Fitr feasts. They are typically grilled or baked and served with rice or bread.

Dolma

A close-up of a stuffed grape leaf, glistening with oil, resting on a white plate. Turkish Dolma

This dish consists of vegetables such as bell peppers, eggplants, and vine leaves stuffed with a flavorful mixture of rice, herbs, and often minced meat. Dolma is commonly served during Eid al-Fitr celebrations.

Pide

A close-up of a tray with slices of cheesy beef and vegetable pide, with a plate of garlic bread in the background, showcasing local cuisine from Avanos Cappadocia, Turkey.

A traditional Turkish bread, pide is commonly made during Eid al-Fitr. It is a soft, oval-shaped bread topped with various ingredients such as cheese, minced meat, or spinach.

Lahmacun

SJ holding a slice of Lahmacun topped with ground meat, fresh herbs, and purple pickled vegetables at Ushiscar Castle.

Also known as Turkish pizza, lahmacun is a thin, crispy dough topped with a minced meat mixture flavored with herbs and spices. It is a popular street food enjoyed during Eid al-Fitr.

Şekerpare

These sweet, melt-in-your-mouth cookies are a festive essential during Eid al-Fitr in Turkey. Made from a crumbly dough sweetened with sugar syrup and flavored with orange blossom water, they are often decorated with a single almond on top.

Iskender Kebab

Traditional Turkish Iskender kebab_Bursa Turkey_Depositphotos_244229222_S

Although kebabs are enjoyed year-round in Turkey, Iskender kebab is a special dish popular during Eid al-Fitr. It consists of thinly sliced lamb or beef served over a bed of bread, generously topped with tomato sauce and melted butter.

These are just a few of the delicious traditional foods enjoyed during Eid al-Fitr in Turkey. The rich culinary heritage of the country adds to the joy and celebration of this special occasion.

Do’s & Do Nots Of Celebrating The End Of Ramadan In Turkey

You can’t really do anything wrong during Eid al-Fitr as long as you’re respectful and greet everyone with a smile, but here’s a quick go-to guide on what not to do versus what to do.

What To Do

  • Do greet others with “Eid Mubarak” or “Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun,” which means “Happy Eid” in Turkish when you meet them during this festive time
  • Do wear new clothes or your best outfit on the day of Eid. It is a tradition in Turkey to dress in vibrant and traditional clothing to mark the occasion
  • Do give and receive “Eidi,” which are gifts or money given to family, friends, and especially children. It is a way of showing generosity and spreading joy during Eid al-Fitr
  • Do visit family and friends during Eid to strengthen bonds and share in the celebration. Enjoy meals together and exchange warm wishes
  • Do participate in the communal prayers held at the local mosque. Joining in the prayer and listening to the sermon is an important part of the Eid al-Fitr tradition

What Not To Do

  • Don’t forget to be respectful of the Islamic traditions and customs associated with Eid. It’s important to be mindful and sensitive to the religious significance of the holiday
  • Don’t indulge in excessive or wasteful spending during Eid. While it’s lovely to exchange gifts and dress up, it’s also important to remember the spirit of moderation and simplicity
  • Don’t neglect acts of charity and giving back during this time. Many people in need rely on the generosity of others during Eid, so contribute to charitable causes and help those who are less fortunate
  • Don’t overlook the importance of family and community. Eid is about celebrating with loved ones and reaching out to those around you. Make an effort to connect with and include everyone in the festivities
  • Don’t forget to express gratitude for the blessings in your life. Take a moment to reflect on the meaning of Eid and express your appreciation for the good things you have experienced throughout the year

Eid al-Fitr is a time of joy, unity, and celebration. By following these do’s and don’ts, you can make the most of this special occasion in Turkey.

Essential Things To Know About Life During Eid al-Fitr Celebrations

Life in Turkey during Eid al-Fitr, also known as the Feast of Breaking the Fast, is exciting and vibrant. Let’s explore some basic things to know about this festive period so you won’t be caught out waiting for a bus that might not arrive on time!

Festive Atmosphere

Eid al-Fitr in Turkey is a joyous celebration commemorating the end of Ramadan. The atmosphere is filled with happiness as families and friends come together to celebrate this important religious holiday. Don’t be surprised if you hear a lot of music and you see people dancing in the city and town centers. Join in!

Increased Activities

Best places to live in Turkey - October 2023 Turkish Flags in Istanbul

During Eid al-Fitr, the streets, markets, and tourist attractions in Turkey tend to become more crowded. This is because people use this occasion to visit loved ones, engage in social activities, and explore the country. Expect a lively and bustling environment during this time.

If there’s a big tourist attraction you want to visit, it might be best to wait until after the holidays if you want to explore without huge crowds. This is especially the case in Istanbul.

Traveling During Bayram

As Ramazan Bayramı approaches, Türkiye becomes a hive of activity, with locals traveling to spend time with their families and tourists looking to experience the festivities. Here’s your quick guide on navigating transportation and securing accommodations during this busy season.

Transportation Advice

During Bayram, public transportation and roads can be quite congested as people travel for family reunions, so plan your travel carefully. Here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • Book Early: Secure your bus, train, or flight tickets well in advance, as they get sold out quickly.
  • Expect Delays: Allow for extra travel time due to increased traffic volumes. The roads are busy as everyone makes visits; I found the driving very calm, albeit time-consuming
  • Use Apps: Leverage travel apps for real-time updates on transportation schedules and ticket availability.
  • Be Patient: During the holiday rush, you’ll need extra patience for long queues at ticket counters and train and bus stations.

Here’s a compact view for your travel planning:

Method of Transport Advice
Bus Reserve seats early; expect busy terminals.
Train Look out for special holiday schedules.
Flights Book way ahead; prices may surge.
Local Transit Plan for sporadic schedules on Bayram days.

Shop And Explore

A variety of antique items and colorful textiles displayed on a rustic street market in Goreme, Cappadocia, including carpets, mirrors, and old metallic objects.

While some shops, businesses, and banks may have altered operating hours during Eid al-Fitr, especially on the first day, many attractions and tourist spots remain open to visitors. Restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops in popular tourist areas are likely to welcome guests, allowing you to continue exploring and enjoying your time in Turkey.

Closure Of Public Offices

Government offices, post offices, and some administrative buildings might be closed or have reduced working hours during the holiday period. To avoid any inconvenience, it’s advisable to check the hours of operation in advance and plan accordingly.

Duration

Eid al-Fitr is typically a three day holiday in Turkey, with the first day being the most significant. During this time, you will witness vibrant celebrations, including prayer gatherings, traditional music, and dance performances. It’s important to note that the intensity of activities may lessen as the holiday progresses, but the festive spirit continues throughout.


Eid al-Fitr – Ramazan Bayramı FAQs

Interior of a busy airport terminal in Turkey, featuring travelers with luggage and a "hayırlı ramazanlar" sign overhead, meaning "happy Ramadan" in Turkish.

EID AL-FITR/RAMAZAN BAYRAMI FAQS

When is Eid al-Fitr – Ramazan Bayramı celebrated in Turkey?

Eid al-Fitr is determined by the sighting of the new moon, marking the last days of Ramazan. In Turkey, it is usually celebrated for three days, starting immediately after the completion of the month of fasting. 

What should I expect during Eid al-Fitr/Ramazan Bayramı in Turkey?

Eid al-Fitr is a time of joy, togetherness, and generosity. Families and friends gather, exchange gifts, and share delicious food. Many Muslims also visit the graves of their loved ones and pay respect.

Are there any local customs or traditions I should be aware of?

Yes, there are a few customs and traditions to keep in mind. It is customary to greet people with the phrase “Bayramınız kutlu olsun,” which roughly translates to “May your Eid be blessed.” Offering sweets or small gifts to children is also a common tradition. Moreover, many people wear their best clothes during this time as a sign of celebration.

What are some traditional dishes associated with Eid al-Fitr in Turkey?

Turkish cuisine is known for its delicious sweets and desserts, and Eid al-Fitr is no exception. Popular treats include baklava, şekerpare, and güllaç. Additionally, meals such as pilav (pilaf), kebabs, and lamb-based dishes are commonly enjoyed during this festive period.

Are there any specific places or events I should visit during Eid al-Fitr/Ramazan Bayramı?

During this time, the streets are filled with a vibrant atmosphere in many cities throughout Turkey. Joining the festivities in places like Istanbul, Ankara, or Izmir can be pretty delightful. Attending open-air concerts, visiting parks, or participating in local cultural events can also add to your overall experience.

Can tourists find restaurants open in Türkiye throughout Ramazan Bayramı?

Yes, you can find restaurants open during Ramazan Bayramı.

Tourist areas, in particular, tend to have dining options available, though hours may vary, so it’s wise to check ahead.

Will there be any closures or limited services during the holiday?

Yes, it is good to keep in mind that some businesses, shops, and banks might have altered working hours or closures during the Eid al-Fitr period. Tourist attractions, on the other hand, often remain open, but it is always advisable to check their schedules in advance. Public transportation may also have limited services, so it’s best to plan your trips accordingly.

How do daily routines in Türkiye change during Ramazan Bayramı?

During Ramazan Bayramı, also known as Eid al-Fitr, daily routines in Türkiye see a significant shift.

It’s a time when families gather, and many businesses close or have reduced hours as people focus on celebration and togetherness.

How can I respectfully participate in the celebrations?

As a visitor, you can show your respect and engage in the festivities by extending your wishes to locals, joining communal meals, and perhaps even gifting small tokens of appreciation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Move This Adventure To Your Inbox & Get An Instant Freebie

Subscribe To Unlock Your FREE Customizable Travel Packing List & All Our Best Tips!