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Festivals and Events as Destinations for Ethnic Tourism

Events of Romanies

Kakava Festivals

Resembling the Hidrellez[1] celebrations carried out in almost all settlements of Turkey, this tradition is maintained in Turkey by Romanies. This event, held for 3 days following the 6th of May every year, is an event of welcoming spring (Kolukirik 2009: 14). Kakava Festivals have turned into comprehensive events in the provinces of Edirne and Kirklareli on the Thracian peninsula, highly populated by Romanies. The Kakava Festival in Edirne, which has turned into an international festival, is particularly interesting. The festival opens in Sarayipi with traditional Kirkpinar wrestle games. The festival participants, including Romanies dressed in their traditional clothes, then jump over a fire set at the evening hours. The events on the second day continue with picnics, music, and dances side by the Tunca River. On the last day of the festival, the Romani youth enter the Tunca River at sunrise for the new year being plentiful and fertile.

Approximately, 5 thousand people attend the Kakava Festival in Edirne, for which touristic tours have also been organized in the recent years.

  • [1] This is a very important religious celebration in the entire Turkic world (by both Sunni and Shiitegroups) as well as in other countries that were part of the Ottoman Empire in the past.
 
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