Celebrating Christmas in Turkey

Celebrating Christmas in Turkey

As you know, Christmas in Turkey is not an official holiday because it is a Muslim country. However, for the last ten years, it has become a popular destination for foreigners. Some of them have a business in this country, some of them bought property and decided to live here because of beautiful nature, climate and friendly environment. So, celebrating Christmas in Turkey becomes more and more popular.


Turkish weather in winter is quite unpredictable. The average temperature can be 14-16 degrees above zero, but it also can be 20 degrees. But don't be surprised if suddenly there will be snow. Anyway, the chances of white Christmas are not very high.


As it was already mentioned, Christmas is not an official holiday, it is an ordinary working day. But still some shops and most supermarkets are festively decorated. And you can buy a Christmas tree in almost every big supermarket. It is also a great time for shopping because it is the time of sales. The shopping malls offer the biggest discounts.


In the regions popular with tourists and expats (for example Istanbul, Alanya and Antalya), the restaurants offer a special holiday menu and entertainment programs. The price of the full dinner may vary from 20 to 50 dollars depending on the location of the restaurant and on what is included. Keep in mind that pre-booking is needed in most places. So, we advise you first to ask what is included in the menu and only then to make pre-booking. The entertainment program can be a live-band performance or a show presented by the artists or the restaurant staff.

A lot of foreigners staying in their homes prefer to celebrate Christmas at home and cook dinner themselves. Friends and families gather, exchange gifts and have fun together.


Having winter holidays in Turkey, not everyone knows that it is the real motherland of Santa Claus. Actually, the name of that fat man who gives presents to children is St Nicholas and is known in history as a bishop of Myra. He was born in Patara, a town on the South West of the country in the third century. When his parents died they left him a lot of money. And he wanted to help the poor but intended to do it secretly by dropping coins down the chimney.

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