Türkiye’s eclectic collection of festivals offers visitors a valuable insight into the colourful history of the country.

Balloon Festival in Cappadocia

Cappadocia’s rugged moonscape valleys are one of Türkiye’s most iconic vistas and it’s thanks in no small part to the hundreds of multi-coloured balloons, which fill the region’s skies every year. Each July, the town of Ürgüp hosts the iconic Balloon Festival, which sees the air teaming with more than 150 balloons from all over the world.

Whirling Dervish Ceremony in Saruhan Cappadocia – Istanbul Dervish Ceremony

İstanbul Jazz Festival

Don’t be fooled by its title, the İstanbul Jazz Festival features far more than just jazz, and is now one of the biggest music festivals in the country. Every summer, crowds gather to enjoy blues, country, hip hop and more musical genres at various venues across the city.

Kırkpına Oil Wrestling Championship

There are few ways to better know a destination than by witnessing its national sport. In Türkiye, this means watching kispet-clad, olive oil-soaked wrestlers (or Pehlivan) grapple for supremacy in a ring. Curious? Us too. The Kırkpına Oil Wrestling Championship is a summer event held over multiple days (usually in late June or early July) in the city of Edirne in Western Türkiye.

Oil Wrestling Training Acitivity Class Outside Istanbul – Events of istanbul

İstanbul Tulip Festival

İstanbul is pretty easy on the eye at the best of times, but it takes on a whole new sheen at the end of spring. Come April, millions of tulips bloom across the city’s parks and public spaces. It’s a floral display that will take your breath away, which really shouldn’t be a surprise considering the lily is native to Türkiye and historically a symbol of nobility in the Ottoman Empire.

Anthophiles will be thrilled to discover that it’s not just tulips that brighten up the city’s walkways in preparation for summer; daffodils, hyacinths and other fragrant blooms also make an appearance. Head to Emirgan Park for the most verdant botanic exhibits.

Source: Balloons, blooms and ballet: The Turkish festivals not to miss in 2024 | Euronews

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