Friday sees the start of Kurban Bayram (The Feast of the Sacrifice), a religious holiday that is celebrated throughout Turkey. It's as important to muslims as Christmas is to christians. And even those lapsed or non-practising muslims see it as a time for celebration and getting together with families.
It lasts for 4 days and it's not a good time to travel as airlines and buses are fully booked and the roads exceptionally busy, with people travelling the length and breadth of the country to spend the holiday with their loved ones. Most businesses and shops close during the holiday, as do banks and post offices.
It's also not a good time for people like me to set foot outside the door. During the four-day festival, lambs are still traditionally slaughtered and the meat distributed to the poor and needy. This is mostly done in professional abattoirs, but some of the ritual slaughters take place in public places, by untrained hands and this can be extremely traumatic for the animals, as I have had the misfortune to witness in the past. There are a lot of sheep in this village and I fear there will be a lot of slaughtering taking place on Friday.
The ritual slaughter is in remembrance of the ram that Abraham sacrificed in place of his son Ismail (Isaac).
Naturally, I embrace the culture of my chosen country, and I accept and often enjoy their festivals...but I'm afraid this isn't one of them.
Come Friday you will find me behind firmly closed doors, with the curtains closed, and music on fairly loud to drown out any unpleasant sounds....looking forward to the following Tuesday when it will all be over for another year.