Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Years in Turkey!

New Years is a time for celebration, preparing for resolutions that will last no more than one week, and a time you spend with family and friends. How do you spend your time on New Years? In America, until you are a certain age you are asked to stay and spend it with family at home with some special foods and games. When you get a certain age to drive you are given a 2 hour talk about why you are not allowed to be out late, and that you will expect 50 calls until you get in the driveway, and the dangers of drinking and driving. (Which I believe this is a very important talk for kids that age.) Then you get to the age where you realize the dangers of drinking and driving, and decide to spend the whole night with friends, while calling home sending your New Years wishes.

As you know, in America, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, AND New Years all less than 1.5 months. Not that we don't love our families, but when you come to a certain age you want to spend the last holiday with friends; in a way its to much family in that certain time. (Again, not to say that we don't love our families, because I know I sure do!)

In Turkey, there are some similarities; people are split between staying at home with families or going out with friends. Since there are no other close holidays, it is not uncommon to hear that many individuals spend the time with family. Since there is a great public transportation system and a very cheap rate for taxi cabs, there is no worries about drinking and driving. For this reason, teenagers and young adults, if not spending their time with family, they typically go out rather than staying in for a house party.

Some typical things young adult's do for New Years Eve:
  • Take a trip to Cesme - An hour drive beach city where you can go to clubs and sit on the beach.
  • Go to normal clubs in Alsancak.
  • Go to one of the many concerts (Famous singers give concerts around the country)
  • Take a trip to Istanbul for a night on the town, possibly seeing a special concert.
  • Travel to Uludag, Bursa - A ski resort town.

For me, last year I went to Istanbul for one night (flying in the evening and flying back in the early morning) to watch a Hadise concert. This year I decided to go with my host family to Uludag in Bursa, Turkey.

2010 - 2011 New Years Concert with #TeamHadise:
Hadise Acikgoz
Team Hadise
Team Hadise having a sip of Starbucks before the concert!
While the time was filled with skiing and playing in the snow, New Years Eve was filled with something else. Of course there was Santa Claus (Read my Christmas post to see why there was Santa Claus on New Years: Christmas in Turkey). After spending quite some time to get ready (With everyone wanting to look there best), we went to the dining hall to enjoy a fancy 3 course dinner that was served timely. We then went to the top of the hotel and watched a concert by Fedon, a Greek-Turkish singer. It was a classy concert of course, so there was special tables you stood at. We ordered red wine and was served fruits. After this we went to a dance club to end the night at about 5AM.

All in all, I can say it was my first high-class New Years celebration. I really enjoyed it, but I did miss the American tradition of spending it with family or friends at a house party.

You can see information about my ski trip last year to Uludag here: Livin' it up in a Turkish Snow Globe!

2011 - 2012 New Years Pictures:

Uludag, Bursa, Turkey

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