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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Turkey

I've been living in Istanbul for 5 years, my first Christmas here was a surprise for me. Turkey is a Muslim country and in November I start to notice that shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and many houses were decorated with trees, snowballs, stockings, Santa Clauses and more Christmas decorations. After asking my husband who is turkish he told me that they do it for New Years, so they celebrate New Years as we do Christmas, for that reason many shops sell Christmas Trees (here are known as New Years Tree), decorations, greetings cards that are send to friends and families and many more season decorations.
In December is usual to find Santas in the shopping malls, they usually give candy to the kids and take pictures with them.
In New Years Eve families get together, they have dinner, play games and also exchange gifts that has being placed under the tree. So is almost as a Christmas celebration but on a different date.

Last year they even made a movie about Santa Claus call "A Cheerful Life" (Neseli Hayat). A Cheerful Life is comedy movie about Riza, a Turk, who is employed as Santa in a shopping mall, however, Riza has no idea what exactly Santa is. 

Here is the trailer of the movie. I couldn't find it with English Subtitles :(

A curious fact: Saint Nicholas (born c.260-280 AD), bishop of Myra and the future Santa Claus was born in Patara, Turkey. 

That's me last year at Santa Claus Museum.

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