North Cyprus

Public holidays in North Cyprus

Public holidays in North Cyprus

North Cyprus celebrates both religious holidays and national days. Landmark give you a list of public holidays for your reference, followed by a more detailed explanation why the holiday is celebrated.


1st        January - New Year's Day
23rd      April - National Sovereignty and Children's Day
1st        May - Labour Day
19th      May- Commemoration of Aturtük
, youth and Sport's Day
20th      July- Peace and Freedom Day
1st        August- Social Resistance Day
30th      August - Victory Day
29th      October- Turkish Republic Day
15th      November Independence Day (proclamation of TRNC)
The Şeker Bayram and Kurban Bayram follow the Muslim lunar calendar and therefore the dates differ from year to year


January 1st - New Year's Day - Yılbaşı

Everywhere in the world celebrates New Year’s Day and is celebrated greatly on New Year’s Eve.  In North Cyprus the night is celebrated by big parties, drinking, singing and breathtaking fireworks welcoming in the New Year. Although it is not a religious holiday, you will see Christmas trees with lights in some houses and schools and gifts are often exchanged.


April 23rd – Turkish National Sovereignty and Children's Day- Ulusal Egemenlik ve Çocuk Bayramı

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus celebrate the daywith vast ceremonies and performances.  April 23rd was dedicated to Turkish children by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey. Their special dayemphasisesthe modernisation of the country and the fact that they wouldrepresent the future of the new nation.  It was first celebrated in Turkey on April 23rd1920, during the War of Independence. Children celebrate with a gala, dressing in national costumes with traditional music. 


May 1st – Labour Day - İşçi ve Bahar Bayramı

Labour Day is also known as May Day and as celebrated in most countries around Europe.  It is a holiday resulting from efforts made by the labour union movement, celebrating the economic and social achievements of workers.  North Cyprus however, represents a public holiday. Only government offices are closed on this day, but many employers choose to celebrate it with their staff.


May 19th - Commemoration of Atatürk& Youth & Sports Day - Atatürk'ü Anma, Gençlik ve Spor Bayramı

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus commemorates Youth & Sports day as it shares many holidays with Turkey.

This is an annual Turkish national holiday to commemorate the beginning of the Turkish War of Independence on the 19th May 1919.  Atatürk himself proclaimed May 19th as "Youth and Sports Day" and it serves to honour the country's founder. During this holiday ceremonies are held across all Turkey as well as North Cyprus.  Youths sing the national anthem and recite poems. There are parades, sports and cultural activities like performing traditional folk dances and drama to commemorate Atatürk and his companions from the beginning of the national struggle in 1919.


July 20th - Peace and Freedom Day - Turkish Intervention - Barış ve Özgürlük Bayramı

July 20th 1974 is a very important day in the history of Cyprus.On the 15th July 1974 a coup d'état was organised by Greek armed forces who were against the then president, Archbishop Makarios and his government, in an attempt order to unify the island with Greece. On the 20th July 1974 Turkish troops intervened to provide a safe haven in the north of the island for the Turkish Cypriots. On Peace and Freedom Day there is a big military parade in Lefkosia and a flypast over Kyrenia harbour.


August 1 - Social Resistance Day - Ulusal Direniş Bayramı

This marks the founding in 1958 of the Turkish Cypriot resistance movement TMT.


August 30 – Victory Day - Zafer Bayram

Marking Turkey’s liberation from invading Greek troops in 1922. The victory is seen as a turning point in the foundation of Turkey, and is celebrated as a public holiday.


October 29 - Turkish Republic Day - Cumhuriyet Bayramı

To mark the foundation of the post-Ottoman Republic of Turkey in 1923


November 15 - Republic Day of T. R. N. C. - Cumhuriyet Bayramı                                                                                         Turkish Cypriots first proclaimed North Cyprus in 1975, a year after the split with the Greek Cypriots. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was established on 15 November 1983, by the Turkish Cypriot community and Turkish Cypriot Leader/Northern Cypriot State President Rauf Denktash. Its independenceis, however, recognised only by Turkey.


Movable date - Sugar Bayram - End of Ramadan or Seker Bayram - Ramazan Bayramı or Şeker Bayramı

Seker Bayram, which is also called the Sugar Festival, takes place at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and will last for three days. This religious feast will be celebrated with family and giving presents and sweets to visitors.  During this feast older members of the family will be respected by kissing their hands and many Turkish Cypriots will attend mosque.  You will find in Nicosia, a fun-fair, traditional food and crafts. Restaurants in North Cyprus will usually be empty on the 27th night of Ramadan, which is known as Kadir Gecesi or the night the Koran was revealed to Muhammad.


Movable date - Feast of the Sacrifice - Kurban Bayramı

Kurban Bayram is a 4 day celebration and will starttwo months after the Seker Bayram.In the UK this is known as Ed-al-Adha.This feast will commemorate the sacrifice of Ishmael by Abraham, which is a Koranic version of the Abraham-and-Isaac story, and used to be distinguished by the sacrifice and roasting of many sheep. This custom however has faded in Cyprus but the festival isstill celebrated. Turkish Cypriots are among the laxest Muslims in the world in terms of observance, but most make the effort to abstain from alcohol during this period.





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