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Hıdırellez festivities kick off across Turkey with wishes and celebrations
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 07 May 2012 Mon 12:29 am

 

Hıdırellez festivities kick off across Turkey with wishes and celebrations

6 May 2012 / TODAY´S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL
The spring festival of Hıdırellez was celebrated on Saturday night across Turkey, where citizens in different provinces celebrated “the day of al-Khidr” with their own unique festivities.

The Hıdırellez, which falls in the first week of May, is a commemoration of the day the Prophets al-Khidr and Elijah met in Islamic belief, and it is believed that any wishes made during the festival will be granted within the span of a year.

Hıdırellez festivities are common throughout Turkey. Each province has its own unique way of celebrating the day and of making wishes on the night of May 5, following customs passed down from their ancestors.

In the province of Van, locals gathered by the Akköprü River after the morning prayer to throw pieces of paper with their wishes written on them onto the banks and into the river at morning´s first light.

In Antakya, residents participated in a similar ceremony, writing wishes on stones and paper and leaving them at the riverbank.

Folklore scholar Öcal Oğuz of Gazi University explained to the Anatolia news agency that the festival was an important way to preserve folkloric traditions “amid the massive trend towards urbanization in Turkey.”

 

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