From Ottoman To The Republic Period New Year Celebrations In Turkey
The New Year is the day when the new year is welcomed and appreciated in different societies. It is known that during the Ottoman Empire in the New Year is celebrated by Christians and foreigners living in Turkey. The first contact of the Ottomans with the New Year’s celebrations was in 1829 in a prom of the British ambassador in Golden Horn. For the first time, political leaders participated in the New Year’s Eve celebrations with this ball.
After a quarter century, in 1856, Sultan Abdülmecid attended a New Year’s ball organised by the French ambassador. He watches the dancing people and enjoyably returns to his palace.
While the state’s approach and participation in the New Year’s celebrations proceed in this way, the New Year’s celebrations also begin to increase on the street. At that time, Beyoğlu, which is a district with a large number of local and foreign Christians, hosts a variety of entertainment venues. Apakurya Festivities and festive moods take place in all of these places. It is known that the Greek and Levantine sections are more open to the New Year celebrations than the other Christians of the city. Similarly, among the Muslims, the people close to Westernization also participate in the New Year’s celebrations in Beyoğlu.
The fact that the New Year is seen as a more meaningful and special night coincides with the days of the occupation of Istanbul. The Russians who came to Istanbul during this period actively participate in the entertainment life and differentiate the New Year celebrations.
Although the participation in New Year’s Eve celebrations has increased over the years, this was not always a public holiday. The first official New Year holiday was in 1936 with a law bill adopted. For the first time in 1938, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk published an answer to the New Year’s congratulations:
“With the occasion of the New Year, In every part of the country, there are telegrams that tell the citizens great feelings and sincere wishes. As being touched by this, Atatürk has ordered that his thanks and wishes of peace be conveyed.”
After many years, the New Year’s celebrations are carried out with the same enthusiasm and joy. On New Year’s Eve, numerous Christmas invitations and street celebrations continue to be held all over the country. With the increasing importance of this night for the people, the interest of the brands in this night has increased, and this caused the last month of the year to be considered as ile “gifting time.” Additionally, it can now be said that Christmas has become a dominant part of our lives. In the last month of the year, people are celebrating the New Year by bringing gifts to each other and attending parties and invitations organised for New Year’s Eve.