A Blog about life, love, Turkey, Antalya and sometimes what I do to help out my clients a.k.a. friends
Ramazan, or Ramadan as it is called in other countries, is a 30 day long religious holiday of celebrating, fasting and prayer.
The holiday should be a time for Muslims to show humility and be grateful for what they have and to symapthise with those who have less by the ritual of fasting for 30 days and remind themselves of the nature of selflessness.
In 2015 Ramazan starts on the 18th June and finishes with a celebratory feast on the 17th July.
Fasting, as practiced during Ramazan, means that nothing should pass the lips, abstinence during daylight hours from food, water, cigarettes and sexual intercourse is observed. A large Breakfast (Sahur) is usually taken early in the morning before sunrise and a large meal in the evening after sunset called Iftar.
HOW WILL IT AFFECT MY STAY IN ANTALYA?
Not much is the short answer, Antalya is a modern, cosmopolitan tourist hub and as such you will not notice much change during the month of Ramazan. Please be aware though that there will be hungry, thirsty, nicotine deprived pedestrians, service staff and drivers on the roads, added to that the intense heat of an Antalya summer and you can understand why road accidents inevitably increase, be especially vigilant close to sunset as people race home to to their Iftar meal.
Be aware that some establishments that normally serve alcohol may stop for the month of Ramazan, or some just during daylight hours, although you can still purchase alcohol in shops and supermarkets.
You will notice lots of lights and worshipers around Mosques and some communal Iftar may take place in your neighbourhood.
In some rural areas you may get woken by a drummer, a very determined and incredibly loud drummer in the early hours of the morning (usually around 2.30 - 3am) waking everyone up for Sahur so you may want to bring some earplugs with you if you are staying outside the city.
SHOULD I FAST TOO?
Not unless you are also observing Ramazan or want to! Many expats also fast to "fit in" with the culture or to use it as a time to diet or get fit or just symapthise with the ideals of the holiday.
You should be polite and not obviously show eating, drinking and smoking during daylight hours when in rural areas but in the city you will find it is acceptable.
RAMAZAN BAYRAMI (ŞEKER BAYRAMI)
At the end of Ramazan is a three day holiday that starts at sundown on the last day of Ramazan and celebrates the completion of the month of fasting.
This period is an official public holiday in Turkey and most offices close on the last day of Ramazan to begin preparations for the holiday. Buses and planes may be particularly busy at this time as people use this holiday to visit their families and relations.