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24 December 2008

Closing down for Christmas

This evening some of the world is shutting down for the Christmas period. People are getting ready to close down for a few days or even two weeks if you happen to work in a factory. The effect is a quieting down of all workloads and all monetary transactions unless you work in a store where this will be your best money earning period and your busiest too. 

In Turkey it is quite the opposite people are still working and they don't celebrate Christmas (for obvious reasons) and on the 24th of December they are gearing up for the New Year (Yıl Başı). So, for this reason you will still see Christmas Trees and you will still see Santa Claus (Noel Baba) and some people like to have a Christmas tree (Yıl Başı Ağacı). 

They don't go as crazy as I know they do in the US and in the UK decorating everything from the outside of the house to the inside. Outside having a 10 foot Santa with a full set of 12 reindeers and inside a collection of decorations draped over everything that can have something draped over it. For children a wonderful magical scene as everything is transformed in to a sparkling Santa's grotto. The beers and spirits are stocked up, the Santa hats are worn by the brave and sometimes the not so brave, and in the air there is a relaxed and friendly feeling after you have finally completed your Christmas shopping and the last bag is finally placed in your hallway.

In Turkey as far as I know the emphasis currently is on maybe getting a tree and decorating it but is not always bought by everyone. They also buy end of year lottery tickets and plan the evening meal, or a place for a party or get-together for the 31st December. Although there is some sparklyness there is not enough for me and what I am used to. But it is great that there is that sparkle because without any sparkle, or Santa's or New Year feeling around it would be a very sorry Christmas for all foreigners who celebrate it here. 

Once again to everyone who celebrates Have a wonderful and peaceful Christmas and a Prosperous New Year which in the current economical climate is a little difficult, but a wish is a wish and we all know wishes always come true, don't they?


Oz Kanka said...

Don't forget the best thing about Christmas in Turkey... if you run out of alcohol or fags all the shops are open. Happy Christmas