New Year’s Day is a holiday in Turkey as part of celebrations that start on New Year’s Eve and reach a high point with the turning of the clock from 11:59pm on 31 December to midnight on 1 January.
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New Year’s Day is a time of resolutions and starting fresh for some, while for others it is spent recovering from a big, late night spent with friends and family.
Turkey did not adopt the Western calendar until 1926, and 1 January only became a public holiday there in 1935. But there are many New Year’s traditions well ingrained into Turkish culture.
In Turkey, the last day of the old year and the first day of the new are celebrated more like how Westerners celebrate Christmas. You’ll see lights, decorations, “New Year’s trees, and even Santa Claus. But fireworks are also mixed into the celebrations.
People exchange gifts on New Year’s Eve, and often enough, the gift is a lottery ticket for the Milli Piyango drawing that is broadcast on television right before midnight. Everyone watches for the results, and huge numbers of people buy a ticket.