Turkish New Year | Turkish New Year Traditions

turkishnewyearNew Year in Turkey has a kind of Christmas feel to it, with Christmas type decorations on sale, Christmas Trees which are called Yeni Yıl Ağaç, (New Years Tree) and of course New Year wouldn’t be the same without some good Turkish New Year Traditions.

New Years day is the only public holiday in Turkey which is not a religious holiday or national celebration.

Many Turks celebrate the New year attending New Year Events and Parties, Those that stay at home, play games and watch the New Years TV and of course it wouldn’t be a Turkish get together if there wasn’t an abundance of food and Turkish Tea.  Many buy present for friends and loved ones. Though still a lot of families do not mark the the occasion.

You will find Turkey’s for sale in the supermarket along with many tasty treats and drinks on offer.  You can also get New Year packs which contain, snacks, drinks and various other bits and pieces.  You will find in some city centers and especially in Istanbul decorations not unlike the Christmas ones we have, decorating the streets.

There are lots of Turkish New Year Traditions, some new and some old. Here are a few of my favourtie Turkish New Year Traditions.


My favorite is the buying of red underwear for women, where this tradition comes from I am unsure, but I know that in Italy and Mexico it is also a tradition.  The meaning of the red underwear is to bring luck for the coming year.  It is thought that underwear is worn as the bells strike midnight, but this of course it is awkward and many wear their new red underwear before they head out for New Years eve.  So don’t be surprised if your Turkish friends and family hand you new red underwear at New Year.  I have been told that the funnier the pair the better!!


Another is to open your house door or shop door at the bells and sprinkle salt on the doorstep, this is said to bring peace and abundance to your home and business.


Opening the tap and letting the water run is another tradition said to bring abundance to the home.

newyeartraditionsIf you are wanting to bring more money and better finances into your life in the new year then open a padlock at the strike of 12.


Going for a short walk is said to bring travel into your life.

Milli Piyango

And my last tradition is the newest of them all and that is the Milli Piyango New Year lottery.  Every New Year there is a lottery draw and many including us buy a lottery ticket in the hope of entering the New Year as Millionaires!!

Whatever the traditions or superstitions New Year is a time for family and friends to gather and bring in the New Year and join in each others wishes and dream for the following year.

Yeni Mutlu Yillar to you all xxx

Do you know of other New Years Traditions in Turkey?  Whats your favourite New Year Traditions?

© 2012 – 2015, Kerry Arslan. All rights reserved.

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