Kurban Bayram Traditions and Greetings.
Kurban Bayram is like our Christmas its, the end of the pilgrimage to the Haj and a time for families to get together. It is also a religious holiday to offer submission to Allah through remembering the Sacrifice that Abraham was willing to make of his son to Allah.
Before Bayram begins you will notice a flurry of activity, shops are busy, roads become crowded and the ladies will be busy cleaning every inch of their homes in fact they have probably been getting ready for weeks. You will hear the sound of hovers, carpets being beaten and children being shouted out for making a mess.
Many different foods will be made, many will make their own Baklava and borek to serve to Bayram visitors and many other lovely treats will be prepared. New clothes will be bought for the family to wear during Bayram and some may purchase presents for family which is a relatively new tradition.
On the day before Bayram, families will go to the graveyards to pay their respect to loved ones and say prayers for those that have past.
In the morning of the first day of Bayram, the men will go to pray at the mosque, it’s a bit like attending Christmas Mass as even those who don’t pray all year may go to pray during Bayram. Then people will head off to make their Sacrifice for Kurban Bayram. Only after the first prayer on Bayram can the Sacrifice be made.
I mentioned in my earlier article, the Sacrifice meat will be divided into 3 thirds, one third going to the family, one third to friends and neighbours and the last third going to the poor and needy. Those who do not wish to make a Sacrifice or afford to do so will make a donation to the poor often given to the Mosque for distribution.
Visiting the family is a really important part of any Bayram here in Turkey, the younger members of the family visit older relatives and neighbours. Families will all converge at the eldest relative’s house and spend the day there.
When you arrive at an older relative’s house you greet the elders by kissing their hand touching their hand to your forehead and then they will kiss your cheeks in return. Often the kids will be given some pennies or sweets for doing this tradition and great incentive!
Bayram here in Turkey is not unlike our own holidays like Christmas where the main focus is on bringing family together that may be apart for most of the year and for young members of the family to remember their respect for family and their elders. It is a lovely time of year if you can over look the sacrifice and enjoy the time for what is at its core and that is family. If you ever get the offer of spending Bayram with a family then take the opportunity and enjoy the time and holiday.
Remember as it is a holiday, banks, schools and government offices will be closed. Shops will be closed mainly on the first day of the holiday and then reopen on the second day with sales! Its a good idea to be prepared ahead of time as travel is very busy and banks and post offices are normally crowded for about week before the holiday it is also a good idea to have a supply of cash incase ATMs run out.
Dates for Kurban Bayram
2014 October 4, 5 , 6 and 7.
2015 September 23, 24, 25, 26
2016 September 12, 13, 14, 15
2017 September 1, 2, 3, 4
2018 August 21, 22, 23, 24
2019 August 11,12, 13,14
2020 31 July to 1, 2, 3 August.
And lastly here are a few sayings you can use to greet people during Kurban Bayram
Kurban Bayramin (Bayraminiz) kutlu olsun – Have a happy bayram.
Kurban Bayramin (Bayraminiz) mübarek olsun – Have a blessed bayram.
Iyi bayramlar – Happy bayram.
Wishing you all a happy bayram, Kurban Barayminiz Kutlu Olusn.
Please share your Bayram Traditions and stories in the comments below.
© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.