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After Ramadan: The Turkish Feast of Sacrifice

Once a year, about seventy days after Ramadan ends, Muslims in Turkey observe the Muslim Feast of Sacrifice. The main event of this holiday is the sacrifice of an animal, which is then distributed, cooked, and eaten.

In this article, we’ll go over more details about the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice and introduce you to the Sacrifice Feast meaning. Learning about the Sacrifice Feast in Turkey will show you much about Turkish culture as a whole, as well as the religion practiced by Muslims living here.

At TurkishClass101.com, we hope to make this learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. What is the Sacrifice Feast?

The Sacrifice Feast Feast is one of the oldest Islamic holidays celebrated in Turkey. As cited in other monotheistic religions, the Feast of Sacrifice Muslims observe commemorates the story of Prophet Abraham agreeing to sacrifice his son, to prove his loyalty to God. Seeing his devotion, God sent him a ram to sacrifice instead. The festival’s eve is called ‘Arefe’ and offices close for the half day. All government offices, private companies, and schools are closed for four days.

2. When is the Sacrifice Feast?

Celebration in Street

The Eve of the Sacrifice Feast takes place on a different date each year, as it’s about seventy days after Ramadan. For your convenience, we’ve prepared a list of this holiday’s start date for the next ten years.

  • 2019: August 10
  • 2020: July 30
  • 2021: July 19
  • 2022: July 9
  • 2023: June 28
  • 2024: June 16
  • 2025: June 6
  • 2026: May 26
  • 2027: May 16
  • 2028: May 4

3. Reading Practice: Sacrifice Feast Traditions

Large Feast

What do Sacrifice Feast traditions look like in Turkey? Read the Turkish text below to learn about the Feast of Sacrifice Islamic celebrations, and find the English translation directly below it.

Geleneksel olarak, kurban bayramının ilk günü erkeklerin bayram namazına katılmalarından sonra koç, kuzu veya boğadan oluşan hayvanların kurban ritüeli başlar. Genelde kurbanlığın alnına kınadan yapılma bir boya sürülür ve kurdelelerle süslenir. Kesilen kurban etinin üçte biri fakirlere, üçte biri akrabalara dağıtılır, geri kalan da aile tarafından bayram boyunca gelen misafirlere ikram edilmek için hazırlanır.

Kurban Bayramında da Ramazanda olduğu gibi aile büyükleri ziyaret edilir, el öpülür ve çocuklara bayram harçlığı verilir. Ramazan bayramından farklı olarak tatlılara değil etli yemeklere ağırlık verilir. Evlerde, kavurma, etli türlü, etli yaprak sarma, kıymalı börek gibi yemekler pişer ve gelen misafirlere ikram edilir. Kurban derileri Türk Hava Kurumu, Türk Kızılayı gibi sosyal yardımlaşma kurumlarına bağışlanır.

Bu bayram haricinde, aileler bir başarı veya başlarından geçmiş kaza, hastalık gibi elim bir olay sonrası, Allah’a şükran duymak için de kurban keserler. Buna adak denir.

Traditionally, on the first day of the Turkish Sacrifice Feast, men go to a mosque for a special morning prayer, which is followed by the ritual sacrifice of rams, lambs, and bulls. In some regions in Turkey, people paint the sacrificial animal’s forehead with henna and adorn it with ribbons. Families share about one-third of the animal’s meat with relatives and neighbors and traditionally give about one third to the poor, whilst the rest is cooked and served to guests during the holidays.

During the Feast of Sacrifice, just like Ramadan, people visit their older relatives and greet them by kissing their hands, then they give the children money. Unlike Ramadan, people serve meat-based dishes, rather than desserts. Fried meat, stews, vine leaves stuffed with minced meat, minced meat pastries, and the like are cooked and served to guests. The skins of the sacrificial animals are donated to charitable organizations such as the Turkish Aeronautical Association, and the Turkish Red Crescent.

Apart from this festivity, people who have experienced success, or recovered from an accident or illness will also sacrifice an animal to show their gratitude to Allah. This is called an offering.

4. The Sacrifice

In Turkey, who performs the sacrifice and where does this it place?

In Turkey, the sacrifices are carried out by professionals assigned by municipalities in designated areas where the process can be monitored and controlled.

5. Vocabulary You Need to Know for the Sacrifice Feast

Mosque

Here’s some vocabulary you should know the Turkish Sacrifice Feast!

  • Akrabaları ziyaret etmek — “Visit relatives”
  • Dini bayram — “Religious holiday”
  • Sofra donatmak — “Prepare a lavish feast”
  • Müslüman — “Muslim”
  • Misafir ağırlamak — “Do the honors”
  • Kurban eti dağıtmak — “Distribution of the sacrificial meat”
  • Arife günü — “Day of Arafa”
  • Bayram namazı — “Bayram prayer”
  • El öpmek — “Kiss one’s hand”
  • Kurbanlık — “Sacrificial”
  • Kurban kesmek — “Sacrifice”
  • Fakirlere yardım etmek — “Help the poor”
  • Kurban Bayramı — “Sacrifice feast”

To hear each of these Sacrifice Feast vocabulary words pronounced, check out our relevant vocabulary list!

Conclusion: How TurkishClass101 Can Help You Master Turkish

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