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Sacrifice Feast Eve in Turkey

Many people in Turkey do their shopping and prepare meals for the four-day Sacrifice Feast during the Sacrifice Feast Eve. Some people may sacrifice an animal in remembrance of their dead relatives on this day.

Is Sacrifice Feast Eve a Public Holiday?

Sacrifice Feast Eve is not a public holiday. It falls on Saturday, August 10, 2019 and most businesses follow regular Saturday opening hours in Turkey.

Many people visit relatives in cities such as Istanbul (pictured above) during the Feast of Sacrifice Eve in Turkey.

©iStockphoto.com/CaptainHarlock

What Do People Do?

Many people buy new clothes and prepare some meals during the Sacrifice Feast Eve in Turkey. Many people also tidy their houses and make preparations for guests who may wish to stay overnight during the four-day Sacrifice Feast that follows the Sacrifice Feast Eve. The head of each household may choose a sacrificial animal (usually a goat, sheep or cow) for the Sacrifice Feast on the eve of the festival. People who wish to visit relatives in other cities may travel on this day.

Some families sacrifice an animal on the Sacrifice Feast Eve to remember their dead relatives. They give the meat of that animal to the poor or distribute it among the neighbors. Families may not eat the meat of an animal they sacrificed on this day. Visiting the cemetery is also common during the Sacrifice Feast Eve.

Public Life

The afternoon of the Sacrifice Feast Eve is an official holiday in Turkey. Administration buildings, schools and post offices are usually closed, although shops and supermarkets generally stay open. Public transport schedules may vary. Traffic congestion on highways may occur because many people travel to other cities during the Sacrifice Feast Eve.

Background

People in Muslim countries, such as Turkey, determine the date of the Sacrifice Feast Eve (as well as the Sacrifice Feast) using the lunar-based Islamic calendar. The festival begins on the 10th day of the 12th month of this calendar. The Sacrifice Feast commemorates the story of Ibrahim (Abraham), who sacrificed a ram after showing his willingness to sacrifice his son in obedience to God. The tradition to prepare for the Sacrifice Feast on the eve of the festival goes back to the Qur'an.

Symbols

The most common symbols of the Sacrifice Feast Eve in Turkey are a ram (or a sheep) and a mosque.

Sacrifice Feast Eve Observances

Note: A half day holiday is allocated so workers have the afternoon free.

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015WedSep 23Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2016SunSep 11Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2017ThuAug 31Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2018MonAug 20Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2019SatAug 10Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2020ThuJul 30Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2021MonJul 19Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2022SatJul 9Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2023WedJun 28Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2024SunJun 16Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day
2025FriJun 6Sacrifice Feast EveHalf Day

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