Witnessing the Tradition of the Centuries!
The melting snow of the Taurus Mountains and the snowdrops that pierce through the snow cover make up the theme of a festival that occurs during the first weekend of April and which has become a tradition in İbradı. The İbradı Snowdrop Festival is celebrated every year in the Sülek Plateau. It greets many nature lovers who come to enjoy the snowdrops and other flowers of the region.
With the rise in temperature during the summer some festivals are held in the highlands. Oil wrestling competitions are periodically held during the summer months in the region. In August 2013, the 661st Elmalı Oil Wrestling Competition will take place—a competition which is among the oldest events in the region.
The Antalya Region is among the few places in the world where deep blue waters meet lush green forests and towering mountains all at once. It has seen many cultures and civilisations come and go throughout the centuries. Some of the first Turkmen tribes that came to Anatolia nearly a thousand years ago settled in the Western Taurus Mountains and called it home. They originated from the magical steppes of Central Asia and traversed thousands of kilometers, met numerous civilisations along the way and witnessed countless wars, exile and struggles on this long journey. Nowadays these tribes are the guardians of a unique history and culture in the mountains of Antalya. These nomadic communities were isolated from the flow of everyday life and the states and politics for many centuries. They thus managed to preserve their own cultural traditions in their purest form, continuing to live a simple lifestyle among herds of goats and sheep and carrying on their annual migration between highlands and lowlands.
Antalya is the meeting place of large scale international events that attract many participants from other countries. But on the other hand it also hosts many small scale events that are local in character and offer a wide variety. The Yörük Turkmen Festival, organised by the Antalya Yörük Association and Yörük Industrialist Businessmen Association, is an annual event that stands out because of its high turnout. Each year over one hundred thousand people attended this festival which is held in the Düzlerçamı picnic area north of Antalya in the first week of May.
The Pomegranate Festival held each year in October in the Döşemealtı district turns into a great celebration along with the oil wrestling competition. The chain of festivals which follow each other is set off by another festival in Gazipaşa east of Antalya and centres on the pomegranate. The people of Gazipaşa organise a festival to support and promote seedless pomegranates that they grow. The festival also commemorates the anniversary when this charming town was renamed with Atatürk’s title “Gazi Paşa”. The festival, which lasts three days, includes concerts and dance performances.
Another festival that attracts a great number of guests is the Abdal Musa Festivities held in the Elmalı Plateau. This festivity brings together Alevi citizens of Turkey and takes place in June each year. In this gathering, panel discussions, conferences and seminars about Alevi culture are prepared and include several exhibitions. A different festival is organised in the Akçaeniş village of Elmalı district, lasting for three days during the first week of August. This event takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of that week and welcomes all the Alevi citizens of the Antalya region who are known as “Tahtacı” because they are employed in forestry and woodwork occupations. This is a very good opportunity for those who want to get to know the local culture more intimately. The three-day long event involves performances by Alevi minstrels and the semah ritual dance. These are probably among the most interesting and popular events of the festival.
Abdal Musa Festivities
The Konyaaltı Carnival and Summer Festivities are organised by Konyaaltı Municipality in the first week of August. This event is always held in the Feslikan Plateau in Konyaaltı and is situated at an altitude of 1000 meters.
The Ayran Festival is annual event organised by the Cevizli Municipality in the first week of August. However, at the same time theAkseki Summer Festival offers a welcome refuge for those who want to escape the scorching summer heat of the city in August. There, visitors can enjoy a unique and fun atmosphere as they listen to the performances of local artists.
At the same time in the second week of August, Üzümlü village hosts the Grape and Fish Festival, while in the Günyaka village the Plum Festival is greatly anticipated.
The traditional Şehzade Korkut Summer Festival and Mushroom Festival is celebrated in the Korkuteli district to the northwest of Antalya at the end of each August. Its name comes from the son of the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid, Şehzade Korkut or Prince Korkut who was the provincial ruler of the district. Since 1988 the Golden Cherry Oil Wrestling Competition has also been organised as part of the summer festival.