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Question about Seker Bayram

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Hi,I'm hoping someone can guide me. Here, in the USA, we wish people a happy holiday, a happy birthday, happy Mother's Day, a happy just about anything. What would be the proper greeting to give a person for Seker Bayram?

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  • 2 weeks later...

This topic will probably draw attention many times..so let me write a few ways that you can use on similar occassions..

First of all, Turks don't say 'bayramlar kutlu olsun'. Instead, they say 'bayramınız kutlu olsun'. This is for more than one person, I mean plural, or simply formal. To your friend 'bayramın kutlu olsun' is ok.

This expression can be used for any special holiday, religous or official doesn't matter. For instance you can say 'şeker bayramınız - ramazan bayramızın kutlu olsun, kurban bayramınız kutlu olsun, cumhuriyet bayramınız kutlu olsun, etc. Şeker bayramı is a common name for the special three days following the ramazan month, when fasting is over. The people who pay more attention to the religious terminology prefer to use the term 'ramazan bayramı'. But it is also commonly called şeker (candy - sugar) bayramı, as candies make that day special. It is a traditon to offer good quality candies, in particular to children, who even visit houses to kiss the hands of adults saying 'bayramınız kutlu olsun and recieve enough candies to fill their pockets, in return. This traditon is so deeply rooted and respected that, in some regions, people go to public cemeteries , on 'şeker bayramı' and leave bags of candies, just to let the children come and take away..

Why cemeteries? Probably the souls of deceased children are somehow considered here. Turks had shamanistic believes before Islam, and that culture was rich in traditions related with souls.

Elderly people prefer to say 'mübarek olsun' instead of 'kutlu olsun'. Both mean blessed, but first one (Arabic) sounds more Islamic. In these days, as religion is part of political life and thought, 'mübarek olsun' is trendy. As an expat, you don't need to worry about it, 'kutlu olsun' is ok for you.

Alternatively, you may simply say 'iyi bayramlar'. This expression has no religious reference, it is simply a wish for a good holiday. But this is used mostly when you leave a place. If you visit your neighbour on a religious holiday, 'bayramınız kutlu olsun' is among the first words to be said, not 'iyi bayramlar'. But when you leave the shop you visit right before the hoilday or in it, you can say 'iyi bayramlar' , not as the first words, like 'have a good..' Or if you happen to meet a Turkish friend on your way, you can say 'iyi bayramlar' at the end of conversation.

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