Turkish New Year traditions

New Year’s Day is the only public holiday in Turkey that isn’t a religious holiday or national celebration. It is a time to celebrate what has been achieved in the past year and look forward to the new year with hope and trepidation. As with most cultures around the world, the Turkish New Year is not without its traditions…

  • Red underwear: Many Turkish people take part in the tradition of buying red underwear for the women in their lives. Red is widely regarded as the colour of luck and good fortune in many cultures, so red underwear is worn to welcome in a new and fortunate year.
  • Salt on the doorstep: When the bells chime for midnight it is customary to open your front door and sprinkle some salt on the doorstep. This is said to bring peace and abundance to the home or business to which the doorstep belongs.
  • Running tap: Turning on the tap and letting the water flow as you see in the new year is said to bring abundance to your home in the new year.
  • Unlocking a padlock: If you want to bring more money into your life and boost your financial situation in the new year then opening a padlock at the stroke of midnight is said to do this.
  • Going for a walk: Many Turks believe that going for a short walk as the new year comes in will bring safe travel into your life.
  • New Year lottery: The Milli Piyango New Year Lottery is played by millions of people across Turkey on New Year’s Eve in the hope that their ticket will be drawn and they’ll begin the new year as millionaires!