Summer’s starting fest, Hıdırellez, to be celebrated

Summer’s starting fest, Hıdırellez, to be celebrated

Summer’s starting fest, Hıdırellez, to be celebrated

DHA Photo

The start of summer in the Turkic cultural world, otherwise known as Hıdırellez, will be celebrated on the evening of May 5.

This summer’s beginning will be marked with the Hıdırellez festival in Istanbul’s Ahırkapı neighborhood, which has been celebrated in the same place since 2000. 

The festivities will start at 7:00 p.m. on May 5, in front of the historic Hagia Sophia museum in the city’s Sultanahmet neighborhood. The group will then march to Ahırkapı, where the celebrations will be hosted by the Ahırkapı Musicians’ Association and Kumbara Art Atelier with the help and solidarity of locals. 

Hıdırellez marks the moment of the year when Hızır (also known as Khıdır), who symbolizes earth and vegetation, meets İlyas (or Elijah), who is associated with the sea and water. Thus, the day marks the meeting of land and water. 

It is believed that Hıdırellez brings abundance, prosperity and good luck to the people who believe in it and perform its rituals. 

Make a small replica of your wishes, or draw them on paper and bury them under a rosebush (but don’t forget to collect them early in the morning the next day), jump over a burning fire and keep your food containers’ lids and purses’ open on the night of May 5. You might be lucky enough to have Hıdırellez make your wishes come true.

In İzmir, the May 5 festivities will be celebrated in five different neighborhoods of the city’s Konak district. Live concerts will be performed and a large fire will be ignited for those to jump over and make wishes. 

Hıdırellez and its different variations are celebrated in the region stretching from Eastern Europe to Central Asia. In Turkey, the festivities are particularly important for the Roma and Alevi communities.