The Islamic holy month of Ramadan (called Ramazan in Turkey) is a special time. The holy month, and the 3-day holiday that follows it, can affect travelers' plans.
Being an Islamic holiday, Ramazan begins 11 days earlier each succeeding year. Note that Islamic-calendar days begin and end at sunset, so if Ramazan begins, for example, on "Thursday, the 15th," it will actually begin at sunset on Wednesday, the 14th and this "first day" will continue until sunset on Thursday, the 15th. (Thus the evening of the 15th is actually the beginning of the second day of Ramazan.)
The beginning date for Ramazan depends on the sightings of the moon in Mecca rather than a date-certain proclaimed in advance, so all dates are estimates until the sighting takes place. This means that Ramazan may begin a day earlier or later than estimated dates.
Here are the estimated Ramazan dates for the next few years.
2021: 13 April - 12 May
2022: 2 April - 1 May
2023: 23 March -20 April
2024: 11 March - 9 April
The Night of Power
The 27th of Ramazan, Kadir Gecesi (Lailat al Kadr), the Night of Power, commemorates, among other things, the revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammed.
In Turkey it's celebrated on these dates, beginning—as the traditional Islamic day does—at sunset in the evening and lasting until the following evening:
2021: 8/9May (Saturday-Sunday)
2022: 27/28 April (Wednesday/Thursday)
2023: 17/18 April (Monday/Tuesday )
2024: 5/6 April ( Friday/Saturday)
Ramazan (Şeker) Bayramı
Ramazan is followed immediately by the three-day national holiday of Ramazan Bayramı (also called Şeker Bayramı, Candy Festival; Eid es-Seghir or Eid al-Fitr in Arabic). Some offices and businesses may close for the full three-day holiday. Most shops, bazaars and museums close on the first day of the holiday, and reopen on the second and third days.
Ramazan Bayramı falls on these (estimated) dates:
Half-day "preparation" (arife) holiday on Tuesday, 11 May, full-day holiday on Wednesday the 12th, when many shops, offices, museums, and other places may be closed; and full-day holidays on 13 & 14 May (Thursday-Friday), with travel affected through Sunday, 16 May.
Half-day "preparation" (arife) holiday on Saturday, 30 April, full-day holiday on Sunday, 1 May. Shops, offices, and many other places may be closed as on any Sunday, but museums, normally open on Sunday, may be closed on 1 May as it is the first day of the Bayram. Full-day holidays on 2 & 3 May(Monday-Tuesday).
Half-day "preparation" (arife) holiday on Thursday the 20th of April, full-day holiday on Friday, 21st of April. Shops, offices, and many other places may be closed but museums, normally open on Thursdays, may be closed on 21st of April as it is the first day of the Bayram. Full-day holidays on 22 & 23 April (Saturday - Sunday).
Half-day "preparation" (arife) holiday on Tuesday the 9th of April, full-day holiday on Wednesday, the 10th of April. Shops, offices, and many other places may be closed but museums, normally open on Wednesdays, may be closed on the 10th of April as it is the first day of the Bayram. Full-day holidays on 11 & 12 April (Thursday-Friday).
—by Tom Brosnahan