By Justin Mays:
It is said that music has some magic that touches a person's soul. During summer, many music lovers and all those who seek adventure head to Turkey, the heart of entertainment and enjoyment. Various festivals are lined up across the country, and people head where their souls call them. Here is a list of places where you can add to your summer bucket list to Turkey;
Istanbul International Music and Art Festivals
If you plan a trip to Ankara, there are plenty of opportunities to time your visit to coincide with a cultural festival. The Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV) annually hosts various music and arts festivals. One of them is the Istanbul International Jazz Festival (July), which welcomes jazz musicians from around the world and other well-known artists to venues such as jazz clubs, outdoor spaces, and concert halls. Earlier names on the bill included Randy Crawford, Stan Getz, Sting, Lou Reed, and Astrud Gilberto. The Istanbul International Music Festival, usually held in June and July, offers extensive classical and traditional music, ballet, and opera programs by artists from many countries at venues throughout the city. At the International Istanbul Film Festival in April, Turkish and international films will be screened at cinemas in the city, as well as various awards ceremonies and related events.
Electronic music fans always look out for the Chill-out Festival, one of the top-ranked summer events in the country. Since 2006, the Chill-out Festival has been held annually. It highlights a refined entertainment approach by bringing together various musical styles. The festival usually takes place outside other countries and found its way to Istanbul in 2022. The summer festival took place in May 2022, and participants had a fantastic weekend as this is recorded as one of the best Turkish festivals!
Neon Festival is one of the most exciting summer festivals in Turkey. The event that started in Bursa, Turkey, in 2015 consists of art workshops, galleries, healing sessions, universal peace dances, and music. International artists, including the talented Ace Ventura, Juno Reactor, and Island, always grace the event. It is a place where people who care about the earth meet. Nothing plastic is allowed to get in the festival. The ticket prices for this event are pretty affordable, and those interested can buy them at the neon festival website before the show.
Open Door Architecture Festival
The first Open Door Festival took place in 2010 in Istanbul. This festival allowed citizens to feel their city's cultural and architectural texture. During the event, the public will have access to buildings and spaces of historical and architectural importance, which ordinarily cannot be visited at all or without special permissions. The festival has the same goal as the Open House Festival of London, which every year, one weekend long, allows the public to enter interesting buildings that generally are not accessible.
The Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling Festival is one of the world's longest-running sporting events. The festival attracts thousands to Turkey each year to witness the battle for the Kirkpinar Golden Belt and the title of Chief Wrestler. Kirkpinar Oil Wrestling involves men dressed in leather trousers called kispet and covered in olive oil, wrestling on the grass while the drum and shawm bands play. The sport is open to men from all backgrounds, and wrestlers aim to work their way up from apprentices to becoming master wrestlers, who are also considered to have high moral standards and respect for traditions and customs. Accompanying the festival are displays of folk dancing and exhibitions.
Cappadocia Balloon Festival
Cappadocia is one of the most beautiful areas in Turkey, with its particular geological features forming an exquisite environment. The area, located in the country's center, is home to the Goreme National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its fairy chimneys, cave residences, and underground churches. Hot-air ballooning is a favorite activity for admiring the scenery. Every year, the town of Urgup holds a balloon festival where guests can marvel at the enchanting sight of balloons of many hues and shapes filling the sky above this unique environment. There are special balloon performances from dawn till dusk when balloons are lit up as part of a breathtaking display.
The Persian New Year, Nevruz is celebrated in different parts of the world, mainly in Iran, Azerbaijan, Central Asia, and Turkey. It is an event at which people celebrate the coming of spring and is considered a time for solidarity, peace, and reconciliation. In Turkey, it is most closely associated with Kurdish areas in the southeast, and during the festival, families enjoy meals and public festivities, including folk-music performances and fire jumping.
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