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ŞEKER BAYRAMI (SWEETS HOLIDAY)

After the long month of Ramazan (Ramadan) fasting, next week will see Turkey break out in celebration with a three-day holiday called Şeker Bayramı (the Sweets Holiday). Some people prefer to call the holiday Ramazan Bayramı (the Ramazan Holiday).

As the name suggests, sweets play a big part in this holiday, with shops and offices giving chocolates, bonbons and Turkish delight to all comers. Children go from door to door collecting not just sweet treats but also bayram parası (holiday money) in the form of loose change. Everyone puts on new clothing, and every housewife readies herself for a flood of visiting friends and relatives, all of whom must be offered copious cups of tea and lots of snacks.

Banks, post offices and government offices close for three working days which, this year, means that they will be closed from 8-11 August. In addition they will only be open for half a day on Wednesday, 7 August.

Expect public transport to be completely booked up, especially on the first and last days of the holiday. Remember too that many Turks will choose to extend the official break and stay on holiday right through until 18 August when once again all public transport will be full. Hotels are also likely to be full especially in the coastal resorts and Cappadocia. 

The traffic accident rate tends to be particularly high over the holiday period, another reason to try and plan to travel on either side of it. 

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