No, not an incorrect spelling of Ramadan which is the term most of us will recognise! Unfortunately we have not really been given an explanation of why it’s called Ramazan in North Cyprus – it just is! The month of fasting for all practising Muslims who choose to follow this religious event will culminate in family gatherings, visiting the graves of love ones past and generally having a few days holiday to get the body and mind back to its previous state.
We don’t mean to be pushy but we will say that you cannot come to North Cyprus and not partake of some traditional Turkish Cypriot meze! Meze is the mainstay of traditional cuisine in North Cyprus, and basically means appetisers or starters. More often than not, there is so much of it that depending on your own appetite, you may not require a main course!
Cyprus has been an island invaded and inhabited by many different nations and people throughout its history, and as a result Cypriot cuisine owes a great deal to the external influences that have directly affected it.
There are quite a few public holidays known as ‘bayrams’ in North Cyprus, some of which have been inherited from Turkey and all of which carry very significant meaning.
North Cyprus has quite a large festival scene with events taking place almost all year round – apart from during the short winter months. In terms of culture and festivities, it’s fair to say that North Cyprus is on the international stage and that it boasts some unique and stunning musical venues such as the Bellapais Monastery, Kyrenia Castle and the Salamis Amphitheatre.
Although North Cyprus is a completely secular state, with therefore no official religion, it is predominantly populated by people of the Islamic faith.