What is the Sugar Feast? Celebrating the end of Ramazan

If you have Muslim friends, you might know what happens at the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. In Turkey, the close of this month-long religious practice calls for celebration and feasting during the Sugar Feast! In other places around the world the religious holiday following the end of Ramadan is known by its Arabic name, Eid ul-Fitr. In Turkey, the three days following the end of Ramadan (or Ramazan as it is called here) is known as Şeker Bayramı, or the Sugar Feast. It takes this name because of the sweet candies and treats served to loved ones and visitors when they visit during the holiday.

If you are from the “west,” think Christmas meets Halloween. Families gather to celebrate, eat delicious food, and relish the time together. Young people go door-to-door in their neighborhoods wishing people a happy bayram (holiday) while receiving candy, chocolate, small amounts of money, or other scrumptious treats.

During the Sugar Feast, a special emphasis is placed on honoring the elderly, so oftentimes the younger generation does the visiting. Part of the respect they show, and something you might see all the time outside of the holiday, involves the younger person kissing the right hand of the elderly and placing that hand on their own forehead.

If you have some Muslim friends, send them a text today that says “Eid Mubarak” to wish them a Happy Eid. If you are in Turkey, you can wish your friends “Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun” or “Mübarek Olsun.” Either of these basically mean, “May your feast be blessed.” You can also take the simple route and just say, “İyi bayramlar.” Either way, these three days are special to your Muslim and/or Turkish friends. Join in the celebration if you can!

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