Sometime every year, cartoon magazines feature sundry sheep jokes and people enjoy time off with their families or trips around the country or abroad. As casual as it may seem, this four to five day long holiday, Kurban Bayram, is not just an excuse for children to receive money from their elders or for families to make the rounds visiting each other door to door, stopping for an hour or so for sweets or for a larger meal if there are fewer visitations to be made.
The Feast of Sacrifice, Kurban Bayram, is celebrated by Muslims worldwide, where it is more often known as Eid al-Adha. Taking place 70 days after the end of Ramazan, the holiday celebrates Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael for Allah. In modern practice, a sheep or a cow is killed and then distributed to the poor, usually in a designated area, as doing so within an undesignated property in Istanbul proper is prohibited, unlike as it was in the past. It is also common to give money to a charity to take care of sacrificing an animal and delivering the meat to the poor on your behalf for those who want a stress-free holiday. Some of the more common charities who will do this include Kızılay (“Red Crescent”, the Turkish equivalent of the Red Cross) and Türk Hava Kurumu (the Turkish Aernautical Association).
Most of all on this holiday, helping the less fortunate and spending time with loved ones to remember how much one has is a humbling reminder of life's blessings.