REPUBLIC OF TURKEY MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM

National Festivals

The only traditional element in the official ceremonies of these festivals (the 30th August Victory Festival, the Rebublic Festival, the Liberation Festival and so on) which are enthusiastically celebrated in cities and towns is the participation of seymens (heroes and dancers from central Anatolia) and zeybeks (the swashbuckling hero of southwestern Anatolian villages) in the celebrations with their special costumes. After the official ceremonies are over, however, in some places workers and artisans gather in the city or municipality hall and organize special entertainments until the late hours of the night, and these entertainments lend a special significance to the festivals. Drums and zurnas are played in these celebrations. Small towns in Anatolia have their own folk dances, but in big cities like Istanbul or Ankara these ceremonies turn into a festival of folk dancing. In many places on national holidays, wrestling matches or races are held after the official ceremonies.

In recent years, political parties have organized many entertainments with music on national holidays in order to increase the excitement while competing with other parties. Thus, festival traditions are also subject to a process of change.