12-06-2023 - Public Holidays in Turkey Updated At: 13-05-2024

Sacrifice Feast 2024 in Istanbul: History, Meaning, and Importance

Sacrifice Feast, known as "Kurban Bayramı" in Turkish, holds great significance for Turkey and its people. This religious holiday is based on the Hijri calendar and is celebrated annually, occurring 11 days earlier each year according to the Gregorian calendar. In 2024, the eve of Eid al-Adha (Kurban Bayramı) will fall on Saturday, June 15, marking the beginning of the festivities. The Sacrifice Feast will be between Sun, Jun 16, 2024 – Wed, Jun 19, 2024. 

The history of the Sacrifice Feast dates back to the story of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. As the story goes, just as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice. This event symbolizes obedience, selflessness, and faith.

For Turkey, the Sacrifice Feast is an important religious and cultural celebration that brings families together and promotes unity within the community. It is a time for reflection, gratitude, and acts of kindness. During this holiday, families gather to offer prayers at the mosque and engage in various traditions and rituals. 

Make the most of your travel experience during the Sacrifice Feast in Istanbul with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®. This all-in-one pass offers seamless access to the city's top attractions, skip-the-line entry, and exclusive discounts, ensuring a hassle-free exploration of Istanbul's rich cultural heritage. Whether you want to visit iconic landmarks, immerse yourself in history at museums, or enjoy breathtaking views from observation decks, the Istanbul Tourist Pass® has got you covered.

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With the convenience of unlimited public transportation and additional benefits like free audioguides, this pass is the perfect companion for discovering Istanbul during the Sacrifice Feast. Don't miss out on the opportunity to make the most of your holiday with the Istanbul Tourist Pass® and create unforgettable memories in the vibrant city of Istanbul. Buy your Pass now!

History of Sacrifice Feast

The history of the Sacrifice Feast, or Kurban Bayramı, dates back to the story of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) in Islamic tradition. According to the religious narrative, Ibrahim received a command from God to sacrifice his beloved son as a test of his faith. As Ibrahim prepared to fulfill this command, God intervened and provided a sacrificial animal in place of his son. This act of divine intervention demonstrated Ibrahim's unwavering devotion and obedience.


To commemorate Ibrahim's devotion and the divine mercy shown, Muslims around the world celebrate Sacrifice Feast. The holiday serves as a reminder of the importance of faith, sacrifice, and gratitude. It is a time for individuals and families to reflect on their own faith and express gratitude for the blessings in their lives.

The act of sacrifice during this holiday involves the slaughtering of a permissible animal, such as a sheep, goat, or cow. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: one-third is given to the needy and less fortunate, one-third is shared with family, friends, and neighbors, and the remaining one-third is kept for personal consumption. This distribution emphasizes the values of charity, community, and sharing.

Importance of Sacrifice Feast in Turkish Culture

Sacrifice Feast holds deep cultural and spiritual significance in Turkey. It is a time when families come together, visit relatives, and exchange heartfelt greetings. Many people travel to their hometowns or gather in major cities, including Istanbul, to celebrate the holiday. Mosques are filled with worshippers attending special prayer services, and the streets come alive with festive decorations, traditional music, and the aroma of delicious food.

In Istanbul, visitors during Sacrifice Feast can immerse themselves in the local customs and traditions. The city's vibrant atmosphere offers a unique opportunity to witness and participate in various cultural activities. Visitors can explore historic sites, such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, where special prayers and religious ceremonies take place. They can also savor traditional Turkish cuisine, including special dishes prepared during the holiday, such as "sac kavurma" (a delicious meat dish) and "baklava" (a sweet pastry).


With the İstanbul Tourist Pass®, visitors can access a wide range of attractions and experiences in Istanbul, including guided tours, museum visits, and Bosphorus cruises. During Sacrifice Feast, the pass can provide convenient access to selected venues, allowing tourists to explore the city's rich cultural heritage and participate in festive events.

Overall, Sacrifice Feast holds immense historical, religious, and cultural importance in Turkey. It is a time for reflection, unity, and acts of kindness. Whether observing the religious traditions or simply immersing oneself in the festive atmosphere, the holiday offers a unique and enriching experience for both locals and visitors in Istanbul.

What to Do in Sacrifice Feast in Istanbul 2024

In Istanbul, there are several activities and customs that tourists can experience during Sacrifice Feast. With the Istanbul Tourist Pass®, visitors can explore the city's rich heritage and participate in cultural events. Here are some recommendations for what to do in Istanbul during the Feast:

Visit Historic Mosques

Istanbul is home to numerous stunning mosques, and this holiday presents an opportunity to witness the prayers and rituals performed by the locals. Iconic mosques like the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) and the Süleymaniye Mosque offer a glimpse into the religious practices during this significant time.


Explore Traditional Markets

Istanbul's vibrant markets, such as the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar, provide a unique shopping experience during the Feast. Visitors can immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere, find traditional garments, and enjoy local delicacies. The Pass gives you access to a free guided tour of the Grand Bazaar

Taste Turkish Delights

Indulge in the culinary delights of Turkey during the Feast. Sample traditional dishes like kebabs, baklava, and Turkish tea at local restaurants and street food stalls. The Istanbul Tourist Pass® may provide discounts or special offers at select dining establishments.

Join Festive Activities

Throughout Istanbul, various cultural events and performances take place during the holiday. Traditional music concerts, dance performances, and folkloric displays can be enjoyed, showcasing Turkey's rich cultural heritage.


Embrace Hospitality

Turkish hospitality is renowned, and during Sacrifice Feast, this spirit is at its peak. Engage with locals, join in their celebrations, and experience the warm and welcoming nature of the Turkish people. For your free welcoming treat click here to get your free Turkish Delights with Turkish coffee or tea

It is important to note that during Sacrifice Feast, some businesses and attractions may have modified operating hours or be closed. It is advisable to check the Istanbul Tourist Pass® website or contact specific venues in advance to ensure availability and plan your itinerary accordingly.

Sacrifice Feast is a time of celebration, reflection, and unity in Turkey, and Istanbul offers a captivating setting to experience the rich traditions and cultural heritage associated with this important holiday.

Tips and Important Notes about the Sacrifice Feast in Istanbul

Here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit to Istanbul during the Sacrifice Feast:

Plan ahead: As Sacrifice Feast is a popular holiday in Istanbul, it's advisable to plan your itinerary in advance. Research the opening hours of attractions and restaurants to ensure they are operating during the holiday. Exclusive Travel Services included in Istanbul Tourist Pass® are the solution for all your problems.


Respect local customs: Sacrifice Feast is a religious holiday for the Turkish people, so it's important to be respectful of their traditions and practices. If you come across sacrificial ceremonies or prayers, maintain a respectful distance and observe quietly.

Visit mosques: Istanbul is home to many magnificent mosques, and Sacrifice Feast offers a unique opportunity to witness religious rituals and prayers. Visit mosques such as the Blue Mosque or Süleymaniye Mosque to experience the spiritual ambiance of the holiday.

Sample traditional food: Indulge in the culinary delights of Sacrifice Feast by trying traditional Turkish dishes. Look for local restaurants that serve "sac kavurma," a special meat dish prepared during the holiday. Don't forget to enjoy "baklava," a mouthwatering sweet treat often enjoyed during festive occasions.

Explore local markets: Istanbul's bustling markets, such as the Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar, are a treasure trove of sights, sounds, and flavors. During Sacrifice Feast, these markets offer a vibrant atmosphere with special holiday decorations and seasonal products. Explore the stalls, shop for unique souvenirs, and immerse yourself in the festive spirit.


Attend cultural events: Check out the cultural events and performances taking place during Sacrifice Feast. Istanbul often hosts traditional music concerts, dance performances, and art exhibitions, providing a glimpse into Turkey's rich cultural heritage. Keep an eye on event listings and cultural centers for the latest information. You can also follow our blog for the most recent information on Istanbul.

Enjoy Bosphorus cruises: Take advantage of the İstanbul Tourist Pass® to enjoy Bosphorus cruises during Sacrifice Feast. Admire the city's iconic landmarks, including palaces and historic sites, as you sail along the sparkling waters of the Bosphorus Strait. The breathtaking views and gentle breeze make for a memorable experience.

Buy Your Unlimited Istanbul Transportation Card: Istanbul has a very extended public transportation web for you to use. For a tourist best way to use transportation is to buy an Istanbul City Card which is created specifically for tourists. For more information and to purchase your card, click here and enjoy unlimited transportation during your visit.


Remember, during Sacrifice Feast, some businesses may have limited operating hours or closures, so it's important to check ahead and plan your activities accordingly. With proper preparation and respect for local customs, you can have a rewarding and memorable experience in Istanbul during this significant holiday.

As the Sacrifice Feast approaches, make your travel to Istanbul even more memorable with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®. With this comprehensive pass in hand, you'll have the freedom to explore the city's enchanting sites and experiences at your own pace. From grand mosques and historic palaces to bustling markets and delightful culinary delights, Istanbul offers a tapestry of cultural treasures waiting to be discovered.

The Istanbul Tourist Pass® simplifies your journey, providing you with convenient access, exclusive benefits, and valuable savings. Embrace the spirit of the Sacrifice Feast and immerse yourself in the wonders of Istanbul with the Istanbul Tourist Pass®. Let this pass be your gateway to an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Turkey's captivating metropolis.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Sacrifice Feast?

The Sacrifice Feast, known as Kurban Bayrami in Turkish, is a significant religious holiday in Turkey. It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

When is the Sacrifice Feast in 2024 in Turkey?

In 2024, the Sacrifice Feast will begin on June 15th (arefe) and the first day of the feast will be on June 16. Eid al-Adha is a 4-day holiday, so it is throughout 16-17-18-19 June 2024.

What are the customs and traditions during the Sacrifice Feast?

Families across Turkey perform the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep or a cow, in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim's act of devotion. The meat is distributed among family members, neighbors, and the less fortunate, fostering a sense of community and sharing.

How is the Sacrifice Feast celebrated in Istanbul?

Istanbul, being a vibrant and diverse city, celebrates the Sacrifice Feast with great enthusiasm. Mosques are adorned with lights and decorations, and families come together for prayers and feasts. Many people visit their hometowns or take advantage of the long holiday to travel within Istanbul or explore the city's attractions.

How can tourists make the most of the Sacrifice Feast in Istanbul?

Tourists visiting Istanbul during the Sacrifice Feast can immerse themselves in the local culture by witnessing the traditions and joining communal meals. They can also explore the city's historical sites, enjoy traditional Turkish cuisine, and experience the festive atmosphere at various cultural events and entertainment venues.

Can I use the Istanbul Tourist Pass® during the Sacrifice Feast?

Yes, the Istanbul Tourist Pass® is available for use during the Sacrifice Feast. It offers a convenient way to explore the city's attractions, including museums, historical sites, and popular landmarks while enjoying exclusive benefits and skip-the-line access.

Will the attractions and activities included in the Istanbul Tourist Pass® be open during the Sacrifice Feast?

While the Sacrifice Feast is a public holiday, some attractions and activities may have adjusted operating hours or closures. It is recommended to check our website regularly or contact our customer service beforehand to confirm their availability during the holiday period.

Can I purchase the Istanbul Tourist Pass® online during the Sacrifice Feast?

Yes, you can conveniently purchase the Istanbul Tourist Pass® online even during the Sacrifice Feast. The pass offers flexibility in terms of activation, allowing you to start using it at your preferred date and time.

Are there any special discounts or offers available with the Istanbul Tourist Pass® during the Sacrifice Feast?

Istanbul Tourist Pass® often provides exclusive discounts, special offers, and additional benefits during the Sacrifice Feast. These may include discounted tickets, free e-SIM, or access to unique experiences that showcase the cultural celebrations of the holiday. All you need to do is to follow our website and social media accounts.

Can I use public transportation with the Istanbul Tourist Pass® during the Sacrifice Feast?

Yes, the Istanbul Tourist Pass® includes a discounted unlimited public transportation card. You can use this card in every transportation vehicle such as trams, buses, and ferries, making it easier to navigate the city during the Sacrifice Feast. However, it is advisable to check for any temporary changes or restrictions in public transportation schedules during the holiday.

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