How the Turks celebrate the holy month

From the atmosphere alone, when one is in Turkey, you’d automatically know that the month of Ramadhan is a special one. Referred by the Turks as the “Sultan of months,” trees, from cities to some villages, are draped with fairy lights and mosques display sparkling celebratory messages between their minarets. To put emphasis on the month’s celebration, Turkey has a special three-day official holiday they called the Ramadhan Feast. During these days, the Turkish people wake up early put on their best clothes called bayramlık, which is a cloth worn on special occasions, go to mosques and meet families and friends.
One of the highlights of this feast is the Sugar Feast where people visit friends and relatives to share sweets and other delicacies, and traditional desserts as a token of their love and unity. It is customary to visit one’s relatives, especially older ones, and kiss their hand as a sign of respect. Children may go door-to-door, kissing hands of the grown-ups and receiving sweets and small amounts of money in return.
Turkish shadow plays, such as Karagöz and Hacivat, are popular during the Ramadhan Feast, and children can watch these plays at fairs free of charge. In a more recent tradition, some people use the official holiday to travel abroad or go to Turkish resorts.
Ramadhan is observed with complete dignity and reverence throughout the country and people gather for collective iftars at mosques by sunset. They share their foods with the rest of the guests and by iftar time, they break their fast with a piece of dates and lukewarm water followed by prayers and other meals.