New Year in Turkey

Will you be celebrating the New Year in Turkey and are you wondering what to expect? New Year’s Day is a public holiday in Turkey which means schools and administrations are closed. You will find a lot of shops closed as well, but ancient sites, national parks or museums are open and may even be more busy than usual.

How is New Year in Turkey celebrated?

The new year is celebrated in Turkey, the way it is in most countries, with elaborate celebrations on New Year’s Eve, including fireworks and a countdown. Turks spend time with family around a New Year’s tree (known in western countries as a Christmas tree), or go out and party the night away. Like in other countries, people like to gather in big city squares to celebrate together. New Year in Turkey is a time of celebrating life, exchanging gifts, dressing up, and partying.

Weird Turkish New Year’s traditions

New Year in Turkey may be celebrated the way it is almost everywhere else in the world; there are of course a few eccentric traditions that are unique (or nearly unique) to the country. And yes, we’ve participated in them, or at least some of them.

Smashing a pomegranate at midnight is said to bring prosperity and health for the coming year. We can testify to the fact that it definitely brings a lot of pomegranate seeds onto the streets and pavements.

Wearing red underwear at midnight is also supposed to bring you enough luck to last a year. At least this one keeps the streets clean!

Throwing salt on your doorstep at midnight is the last method to call for good fortune in the coming year. We have to admit, this one is too easy not to try it.

So, remember this, when packing for Turkey and traveling during the New Year festivities, bring your red undies.

Smashing A Pomegranate At Midnight As A New Years' Tradition In Turkey

Smashing A Pomegranate At Midnight As A New Years’ Tradition In Turkey

Will celebrating New Year in Turkey affect your travels?

In short? Hardly. Just check up front which museums are closed and for how long and double check any public transport timetables if you are relying on that, and you’ll be fine. If New Year in Turkey will affect your travels, it will only be in a positive way, as you’ll get to participate in the celebrations, getting an extra taste of what Turkish hospitality is all about. Bear in mind that traffic may peak late afternoon on New Year’s day when people are returning home from visiting family. Don’t forget to check out our calendar with religious and public holidays in Turkey to see if there are any other holidays during your travels.

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This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

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How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

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Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

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Check the weather

Never wonder about the weather in Turkey again. The Turkish climate is as diverse as the country with significant differences between the regions.

This page contains the current weather and weather statistics for all regions in Turkey.

Prepare your trip

How to order a tourist visa for Turkey?

What about public transport?
Can you skip the line at Istanbul Airports?

General Turkey travel information, essential to help prepare your trip, on one page!

Work with us

Get direct access to your target audience with a proven interest in Turkey. People call us their Turkey Bible!

Contact us for a feature on our map, a destination guide, a photo shoot, or any form of professional Turkey-related content.

Ask a traveler

Are you unsure about a destination, activity or hotel? Why don’t you ask other travelers about their experience?

We have a closed Facebook group where you can ask all Turkey-related questions. You’ll get solid advice and travel inspiration.

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