Ramadan Feast (Eid al-Fitr) is the religious feast celebrated at the end of Ramadan (the fasting month) by Muslims all over the world. In Turkey the celebrations started by the performing of Salat al Eid (Eid Prayer) at the early morning hours of 5th of July at mosques. Traditionally, Turkish families visit their relatives and friends in order to congratulate each other’s feast. In contrast to this tradition, whenever the government decides to extend the duration of religious holiday, metropolises of Turkey turns into god-forsaken lands for a while. Enthusiasm of vacationers for leaving their homes during religious holidays is the reason for this, and a growing issue that destroys traditions. In this year, millions of Istanbul residents took advantage of the government’s decision and decided to enjoy the nine-day break at holiday resorts. As a result, Istanbul is virtually empty on the religious holiday as Turkish citizens swarm the coastal areas for an extended holiday.
Holiday frenzy leads Istanbul’s population to reduce almost by half. Istanbul is almost empty that is quite strange to observe and many people can’t believe at times. During the religious holiday, even Istanbul’s most crowded squares such as Sultanahmet, Taksim, Kadıköy, Beyazıt and Beşiktaş were empty. As a benefit of the situation, those who stayed in Istanbul enjoyed the city as much as they could. Also, Istanbul residents haven’t experienced the annoying traffic jam during this religious holiday that they used to experience especially in the main roads which are jammed under normal circumstances. Additionally, the 50 percent discount to public transport during Ramadan Feast relatively reduced the traffic jam, and caused Istanbul residents to travel in a slightly more comfortable conditions.
Celebrating the Ramadan, after a month of fasting is one of the earliest and most important traditions of Islam. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict rule of fast and participate in pious activities. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking). On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in mosques to perform the Eid prayer. After the Eid prayer, the traditional feast visits begins. The younger members of families visit the family elders a sign of love, respect and honour. This activity traditionally continues for three days.
Born and raised in Istanbul where I’m a medical student at YeditepeUniversity.
Photo Credits: 仁仔 何