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New Year Traditions in Turkey
Wearing red underwear at the stoke of midnight brings good luck!

New Year Traditions in Turkey

New Year Traditions in Turkey

New Years Day is the only Turkish public holiday that isn’t a religious or national celebration. Turkey, as an Islamic country, doesn’t celebrate Christmas. But head into the likes of Migros or Tansas (supermarkets) and you would be forgiven for thinking they do. Here you find all the Christmas essentials; festive trees, tinsel, fairy lights, hampers, baubles and Turkey’s, but in this case to dress up the house up for New Year.

New Year symbolises a fresh start the world over, Turkey is no exception. The Turks love to celebrate and New Years Eve is a well loved holiday. Locals either head to organised events or parties, or spend time with friends and family at home. Either way a vast spread of food, alcohol (for those that drink), cakes and the obligatory cay (tea) are normal offerings. Children are usually allowed to stay up to see in the New Year, the television is on showing live footage of celebrity parties and the big countdown in Istanbul’s crowded Taksim Square, and presents and gifts are normally given.

Most countries have their own New Year traditions and Turkey has some wonderfully quirky beliefs. Here’s a few of our favourite New Year traditions in Turkey:

Red pants at the ready! Shop front displays in Turkey are usually a fairly conservative affair but on the run up to New Year this all goes out the window! December sees the turtle neck jumpers and tunics replaced with lacy red knickers and skimpy red underwear.  It is believed that wearing red underpants at the stroke of midnight will bring luck for the coming year.

Salt on the doorstep. A covering of salt on the doorstep at midnight is thought to bring peace and prosperity in the New Year.

Walking after midnight. Those looking to travel, move or relocate in the New Year often take a walk soon after midnight as this is believed to ensure a safe journey.

Pomegranate kernels on the doorstep. Smashing a pomegranate and spreading the kernels over the threshold and floor is supposed to bring luck and abundance for the next 12 months.

Giving to charity or doing a good turn. Helping out the needy or giving something to those less fortunate on New Year’s Day is thought to bring happiness and luck during the year.

Have we missed any? Do you know of any other New Year traditions in Turkey? If so, please comment and let us know. In the meantime, Oceanwide Properties News wish you all a fabulous holiday season and lot’s of health and happiness in 2017.

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