Turkey celebrates Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr
AA photoMuslims in Turkey, along with other Muslim populations around the world, are celebrating the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr on July 5, marking the end of 30 days of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan.
The Turkish authorities declared a nine-day public holiday starting from July 2 for Eid al-Fitr. It had been planned to officially start on July 5 and end on July 7, but Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım signed a circular saying that July 8 would also be a holiday, thus declaring a nine-day public holiday including the preceding and following weekends.
The Islamic holy month of Ramadan began on June 6, with many Muslims in Turkey eating only between sunset and sunrise, until July 4.
Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is a time when Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset. It is a time of self-examination and increased religious devotion, as well as a time of increased religious observance and socializing, with families sharing rich meals after sunset followed by gatherings with friends or neighbors.
With the end of Ramadan and the start of Eid, thousands of Turks began to travel to their hometowns to spend time with their families. However, there have been over 40 casualties in traffic accidents so far this year.
All public and private employees were off duty during the feast, although street sellers, shops and a number of businesses remained at work, as people tend to shop more to buy gifts for their family, friends and relatives.
During the holy month, municipalities across Turkey held mass iftar dinners, a daily fast-breaking meal joined by those who break their fast after sunset.