Ramadan in Istanbul

20:16 Alyson Tart 0 Comments

As of tonight, Ramadan has officially ended in Istanbul.

While I'm sure other parts of Turkey (and even Istanbul) saw a change during the month as people fasted, it was much more subtle in my neighborhood.  In our neighborhood, it was life as usual as most people were not fasting. But, you could see it in the slightly less crowded restauraunts; with the people napping in the park during the day, tired from fasting and heat; with the call to prayers that rang out starting at 3:30 am.

But tonight, the official end of Ramadan, we saw a change everywhere. We were shopping in the Bazaar and shops were all closing up early, ready to go celebrate with family and feast for the next 3 days. Shops were also closed up all on the streets. Families and friends gathered in parks around the mosques, eating picnics, talking, laughing and enjoying the company. At night, the mosques lit up with messages in lights.

And in my neighborhood, the restaurants were almost deserted. Everyone was capitalising on the opportunity to spend the evening with their loved ones. It reminded me a lot of Christmas Eve in the United States. While everyone may not celebrate the religious aspect of the holiday, it is the perfect opportunity to spend time with those important people in your life.

Today's Zaman


Just like Christmas, we get holiday here (Eid) following Ramadan. So, we're off to Italy with our friends visiting from Texas. I can't wait to feast on tons of pasta, pizza, and wine. Perfection.

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