Locals celebrate arrival of spring with nomadic rituals
With the cold wave that ravaged eastern Turkey in the past weeks leaving its place to relatively warm weather, a group of activists and residents in the eastern province of Bitlis’ Adilcevaz district have marked the arrival of spring with nomadic rituals.
Locals and members of Activists of Lake Van Association came together on Feb. 23 to practice hundreds of years old tradition, known by locals as Köse-Gelin, in a series of celebrations with the belief that the days of spring have finally come.
According to the tradition, a local man (known as Köse) dressed in a costume made with grass and wool tied on him tours all the houses in the village with her wife (Gelin) accompanied by songs, and they collect basic food products, such as flour, sugar, oil and wheat.
After all houses in the village are visited one by one, Köse and Gelin cook the food items they collected at the last house together with all village people, and the cooked food is distributed to all residents, especially those in need.
Erdoğan Özel, the head of the association, said that they organized this event in order to highlight the cultural values that are on the verge of disappearing, adding that the spring is coming and that they wanted to celebrate this with the participation of locals.
Orhan Emel, a resident of Adilcevaz, also said that this tradition dates back hundreds of years and has reached today as ancestors passed it on to their younger generations.
The activities ended with villagers performing halay, a folk dance, together.