Foreigners Celebration Of Christmas and New Years in Turkey
Christmas in Turkey is only celebrated slightly differently to the way it is celebrated in Britain and from around the 18th of December.
Many foreigners living in Turkey, UK and Europe visit the 4th century birth place of Saint Nicholas also called Nicholas of Myra, a historic saint and Greek Bishop located in Demre part of modern-day Turkey, that later was changed by the west as Santa Clause from the north pole !.
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For foreigners in Turkey, Christmas Eve is celebrated more vigorously than Christmas Day and the whole family normally meets where everyone contributes to the huge feast that is to be served. The meal is eaten late in the evening and then carols are sung around a nativity scene, which is set up in every home.
At midnight, some families go to the church and continue with the carol singing while some families celebrate at home.
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Every foreigner enjoys Christmas in Turkey particularly to have such an enormous range of excellent food and wine to choose from. Although some presents are exchanged on Christmas Day, the majority of celebrations and the exchanging of gifts is kept until Epiphany (the twelfth day), which takes place on the 6th of January and is thought to be the day on which 'The Kings' arrived bearing gifts for the baby Jesus.
New Years Eve is celebrated together with the turkish locals, normally either at home with friends and family or out and about to the city and resorts to gather to watch the fireworks at midnight.
At the Saint Nicholas Church in Myra, on the 'Eve of The Kings', a parade takes place as dressed kings walk through, throwing sweets and gifts to the children watching. The Kings, are the highlight of each child's Christmas and they write a gift list to 'The Kings' rather than to Santa Clause, leaving food and drink out for them to enjoy while delivering the children's presents. Presents are left out later this night for the excited children to open the following morning.
Not to worry though, because the next holiday will already be being planned.