New Year's Day in Turkey is one of the most popular and important holidays. People of all ages wait for this magic night throughout the year. This holiday is celebrated in every country but with some differences which characterize the country. Now let's see how the Turks celebrate New Year.
The history of the holiday
It is worth mentioning that the country started celebrating New Year on December 31 only in 1935. Before it, this holiday was celebrated on the first Saturday of the year. And January 1 became the official day off only in 1981.
New Year's Eve in Turkey
Globalization has influenced not only the economics of the country but also its culture. For the last 10-15 years, it has become more obvious. You can easily feel the atmosphere of the holiday in the streets which are brightly decorated with pine decorations and images of Noel Baba (Turkish Santa Claus), especially in the big cities and resorts of the Turkish Riviera. December 31 is a working day but usually people finish their work in the afternoon and they start preparing for the up-coming night. In the big cities people prefer to start celebrating the holiday in the city center in the main streets and squares because it is a perfect place to watch midnight fireworks and street performances which come after the final countdown. After that people go to the restaurants and night clubs or to their friends where the parties last till the dawn. There are also great celebrations at the hotels.
New Year in Istanbul
Istanbul is probably the most beautiful and the biggest cities in Turkey. People from all over the country and plenty of tourists come to Istanbul to celebrate New Year. They usually gather in Taksim square and the central streets of the city where they watch concerts, dance and participate in festivities. A lot of tourists prefer to have holiday dinner on one of Bosphorus cruises. The final countdown and the fireworks are the main points of the night. After that people go to the parties and have fun till the morning. The next day, January 1, people visit their relatives and friends, exchange small gifts. It is a public holiday, so the business offices, post offices and administrative buildings are closed.
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