Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Erzurum & the Bayram Festival Band!!

Photos by Jack Waldron
Pictured above, I am on the ferry from Lesbos, Greece to Ayvalic, Turkey . . . , destination, Erzurum in north eastern Turkey, for the Bayram Festival, winter skiing, ancient Ani and Van, and beyond.  Below, one of the many ancient medrese in Erzurum, this one in the central square of the city.

The mountain view from my new apartment near the train station is quite amazing, with a valley that spreads out over the plain for about 60 km.  Below, other sights around Erzurum.

Above, the view from the balcony of my apartment.  Below, the ceiling of a traditional Turkish building.  Below, David (teacher) and I sit in a fireplace of a traditional turkish house that has been converted into a multi-traditional-house tea and restaurant community.  The original lane between the old houses has been covered, and the houses that open on it turned into tea rooms.  This is a must visit when you come to Erzurum.

Sights and scenes of Erzurum, Turkey!!

As October arrived, the streets were slowed by the procession of cows, that began to occupy every courtyards around the city.  Bayram had arrived, indicated by the sales of butcher blocks along the streets.

The teachers were invited to a small village near Erzurum to take part in the festival sacrifice, and the distribution of meat throughout the community.  Above, we enjoy a traditional festival day breakfast in the family's house.  Below, a dung pile, used for heating during the winter.

Many many thousands of cattle are sacrificed across Turkey during the Bayram Festival . . . , the largest number of animal sacrifices occur in eastern Turkey.

Most families perform the butchering task by themselves (as seen here), while some hire a butcher to process the meat.  In the piture below, you can see another sacrifice taking place in the background . . . , there were many throughout the village.

Nothing from the cow is wasted . . . 

It's time to BBQ some of the meat and feast for the celebration . . . 
I'll be skiing on the mountains in the background of the picture below, beginning around mid-December, IF I survive the car drivers of Erzurum!!

*All photos and content property of Jack Waldron (photos may not be used without written permission)

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