Cyprus, Nicosia

How do turkish cypriots celebrate the New Year?

Updated: 2 months ago

For the residents, Christmas and New Year are somewhat foreign holidays, brought in by British culture during the colonial past. Ten years ago, it was hard to find New Year's decorations in public places on the Turkish part of the island, although the holiday was celebrated.

Today, Cypriots are keeping up with Christian countries and decorating shops, hotels, and restaurants in the Christmas style already in early December. The holiday is slowly catching on. On December 23, 2022, even the President of the TRNC, Ersin Tatar, congratulated the Christian part of the island on Christmas and summed up the political outcomes of the year, wishing all countries peace and harmony.

On New Year's Eve, it is customary here to have dinner at home, then visit parents and elderly relatives, and afterward visit a casino. It turns out that casinos in the TRNC are a place for cultural recreation, an unusual replacement for a concert hall or theater.

The youth go to bars and join the British part of the island's population. The English, of course, adhere to Christmas traditions: on the 24th, they have a festive dinner at home or in a restaurant, give each other gifts, and then head to bars and nightclubs.

If we talk about Christmas and New Year's gifts in the local environment, they, of course, are given to each other here. But since the holiday does not hold much significance for the Turkish Cypriots, the presents here are usually symbolically purchased."

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