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It’s starting to look a lot like … New Year’s?

If I didn’t know better, I would think that Turkey, an almost entirely Muslim country, was celebrating Christmas.  All the malls and shopping centers in Ankara are decorated like this:Image

Even though that’s Santa Claus, here in Turkey we’re actually celebrating New Year’s.  In the last week I’ve been to several New Year parties with predominantly red and green stuff everywhere.  We even sang Christmas carols at one, and got gifts from under the tree at another.  It takes an hour to find a parking spot at the mall, and every shop is offering holiday sales and pre-wrapped items.  On New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day, everybody gathers around the tree and opens presents.  Usually there are parties and family celebrations.Image

So what’s this all about? A Turkish friend told me that Turks love to decorate, so in order to have the tree and the lights they just adopted the non-religious aspects of the Western Christmas traditions and then Turkified it by doing it all in the name of a Happy New Year.

I think some people love to decorate, and some people just love to party.  Either way, it works for me!

this store is on a street with so many lights that I think it's brighter at night than during the day.

this store is on a street with so many lights that I think it’s brighter at night than during the day.

One Comment Post a comment
  1. Patrick Redmon #

    Ah, yes! Everyone loves to jump on the Santa Claus bandwagon – especially the retail markets. 🙂 No stopping the only true religion of the world… capitalism! (ha ha) I am actually glad to see that you have plenty of reminders of Christmas this year, Sarah. It is never fun to be away from family and friends this time of the year, but it looks like you will be doing better than some of those “hazed, gray and underway” holidays from past years. Be well, be safe and be careful with the goat’s milk-based egg nog. Merry Christmas to you. 🙂

    December 24, 2012

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