In accordance with the rest of the Muslim world, festivals and religious holidays are observed in accordance with the calendar and the phases of the moon. This means that the major festivals are moveable and it is always advisable to check with a travel agent about peak times for travelling. Christian festivals are not celebrated in North Cyprus but that does not mean the Turkish Cypriots do not take advantage of the holiday. Many of them who have made their homes overseas will return to the country of their birth and make the most of the European holiday period.
The two most important religious festivals for all Muslims are Ramadan, (a period of thirty days of daylight fasting, followed by three days of feasting), and the Kurban Bayram (Feast of the Sacrifice) which lasts for four days and takes place approximately two months after the end of Ramadan.
There are an additional nine days that are allocated as Public Holidays when all utility offices and Government departments are closed.
January 1st, New Year’s Day
April 23rd, Children’s Day
May 1st, Labour Day
May 19th, Youth and Sports Day
July 20th, Peace and Freedom Day (anniversary of the Turkish intervention in 1974)
August 1st, Communal Resistance Day (anniversary of the successful Ottoman conquest of Cyprus in 1571)
August 30th, Victory Day
October 29th, Turkish National Day
November 15th, Independence Day (Foundation of the TRNC)
There are festivals to celebrate the harvests of olive, carob and citrus, and many towns and villages will hold parties and concerts to mark the end of the fruitful seasons. Details and dates of these festivals are to be found in the local press.