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07 May 2024, 12:08

People in Türkiye celebrate spring festival

ISTANBUL, 7 May (BelTA - Anadolu) - People in Türkiye are welcoming the arrival of summer with a traditional festival known as Hidrellez.

Hidrellez, added to the UNESCO list of "intangible cultural heritage" in 2017 through a joint work of Türkiye and Macedonia, is one of the seasonal festivals of the Turkic world.

The celebrations start on the night of May 5, and continue the following day. The festival is celebrated in several Turkish provinces, including Isparta, Edirne, Konya, Nigde, Corum, Canakkale, Balikesir and Bilecik.

“People prepare beforehand for Hidrellez celebrations in villages and small towns, although rather less now in the big cities. These preparations concern house-cleaning, clean clothing, and food and drink. Before Hidrellez Day, houses are cleaned from top to bottom, since people think that Hizir will not visit houses that are not clean. New clothes and shoes are purchased to wear on Hidrellez Day,” according to the Turkish Culture Ministry.

Rituals that have been passed down from generation to generation for centuries include jumping over a fire, making wishes and attaching a rag to a tree, drawing wishes under a rose tree, boiling various flowers and drinking it, as well as young girls keeping their belongings – such as earrings and rings – locked in a pot during the day for fortune.

It is believed that Hizir and Ilyas meet every year under a rose tree at night, connecting May 5 to May 6.

According to the belief, they meet only once a year. It is also believed that they symbolize abundance, so everywhere they step their feet turn green, and everything they touch gets fruitful and healed.

Meanwhile, Turkish first lady Emine Erdogan issued a congratulatory message on the Hidrellez festival.

“May spring, which brings fertility to the soil and abundance to the seed, fill households with peace and hearts with healing. Happy Hidrellez!,” she said on X.
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