Celebrating Easter is one of the most beautiful Romanian traditions. For this holiday, red eggs are made, traditionally prepared with lamb and baked buns.
The entanglement or «impingering» of eggs is an ancient custom in the Romanian tradition. The eggs are a testimony of The Dates, Beliefs and Habits of the Easter, representing an element of romanian spiritual culture.
The reasons for the ornamentation of the eggs are numerous, and each motif is presented in several variants, which are differentiated according to the locality. Nowhere, however, more than in Bucovina, is this habit not elevated to the level of art as here. As folk motifs used are:, sun, leaf, etc.
In Muntenia and Oltenia, ornamental motifs are naturalistic, but with fewer colors.
In Olt County, the centre of Obaga is noted where this popular pursuit has been brought to the level of art.
Winter holidays are also marked by the most beautiful Romanian traditions. In winter, folk customs and customs are held, which come from the past, but follow with holiness even today. In the villages, on Christmas Eve, a number of children gather to roam the villagers. In bucovinian villages, children are massed into different characters, such as bear, goat, bear or bunkers. In Moldova, newlymarried men go by plow.
A much too-familiar symbol is the Christmas tree. It existed in Romanian traditions long before the Christian era. The tree is the most important tree in Romanian customs. The tree is present at the most important events in a man’s life: baptism, marriage and burial; the tree is considered to bring good luck, long life, prosperity and fertility, which is why people adorn their house with tree branches.
In the area of Banat mountain, on Christmas Eve the fire in the house is not extinguished at all, so that the coming year will be bright and spornic. On this day the tree is decorated with sweets, under the tree is placed a coil, a sausage and a bottle of rachie (knowers know) – gifts for Santa Claus, and for his horse are put grain and hay. Also this evening, young people gather around houses in groups of girls and virgins and put on masks: boys wear women’s masks and girls wear men’s masks, then leave through the village. They would gather in several houses where they would start dancing: girls in boy masks would take a young woman to the game and boys with girl masks would take a virgin; During the game the masks kiss the chosen pair. These masked men were called Bloji.
One of the most beautiful Romanian traditions is the celebration of the coming of spring. The marzipan is an ancient symbol that marks the coming of warm time on the Romanian lands. In popular beliefs, this talisman has magical powers. Men offer beads to women, and they wear them in their chests or hands throughout March.
The marzipan was conceived as an awe-bound with a string woven from two white threads (symbolizing divinity, health, purity of mind and fulfillment) and a red one (as a symbol of love for the eternal beauties of life: friendship, fidelity and honor).
In the popular tradition, the two colors (white and red) from which the string with which the march-talisman is bound also represent the two basic seasons (winter and summer), while spring and autumn are considered only seasons of passage.
Some popular legends say that the apple would have been spun by Baba Dochia while climbing with the sheep in the mountains.
Over time, a silver coin was added to this string. The coin was associated with the sun. The apple must become a symbol of fire and light, and therefore of the sun.
«BABELE» DE MARTIE
A beautiful custom of the traditional folk ordinance, the choice of «babes», as we know it today, with the role of amusement, had a special meaning in the formation of traditional family values and, moreover, was a «giver of hope» for eternal life.
The popular belief says that «Babele» are witches who have the power to influence the weather in a single day, for these days even Baba Dochia, the one who brings the cold weather, begins to undress the 9 shells they wear from winter.
«Babele» symbolizes a fascinating Romanian tradition, a legend invoked in Romanian myths and stories, based both on the «babe» interpretation of the time and on the rituals that took place within the traditional family.
According to popular tradition, between 1 – 9 March a day is chosen, or a «babe», which will anticipate the mood, luck and predisposition of each, until the «babes» of the following year. Beautiful and sunny, or on the contrary, rainy and cloudy, this day is decisive for those who choose «Baba» and are said to represent them all year. So they’ll either get lucky with the chariot or they’ll have dangerous trials. «It is said that the weather of these days reveals the inner state and the goodness of the soul of each person. Thus, if the weather is beautiful and the sun shines, the man is cheerful and kind-hearted and will go well all next year. Instead, if the weather is dark, he won’t be a good-hearted man and he’ll be
troublesome all year. On the other hand, it is said that if it snows or rains that day is a sign of wealth» (Paulina Popoiu, museographer and manager of the National Museum of the Village «Dimitrie Gusti» in Bucharest).
But beyond this game, 1 – 9 March «Babele», symbolized by Baba Dochia, represents nothing but the last battle that takes place between winter and spring. After her death, the days begin to grow, and the beautiful weather triumphs.
Music is a form of expression that has been a part of the world for centuries. With time, creativity and way of life have grown to challenge traditional music, but there is always an interesting experience in enjoying both traditional and modern music.
In Turkish culture, the making of music is with different instruments evolved with improved technology. Some of the culture-specific tools you should expect are the zed flute, bagpipe and more.
Music from Turkey is mainly made with Turkish elements including partial influences that range from Arabic, Persian, Balkan, Ottoman and the central Asian Folk music. The trend in music improves with its origin going back to the 1930s as westernization takes over the world. There are different genres of music played in cities and towns as a way of enjoying vibrant local music and supporting their regional music.
Over the years, the Turkish music world has evolved thanks to the open economy and society that supports Aksu promoting pop music. In the 1990s, the development of alternative Turkish rock, hip hop, and rap, electronica and dance music transformed music in Turkey entirely.
Traditional Turkey Music
To begin with, let’s have a look at some of the exciting conventional music you should expect in Turkey. Filled with sputtering rhythm, Turkey’s traditional music shares the country’s lucrative culture expressing some of the skillful and provocative nature of the country.
In early 1930, .Mustafa Kemal Ataturk transformed the world of music in turkey entirely, by providing a speech that led to the banning of Alaturca music. The only music that was acceptable to the public was the one following the principle of Western tonal music.
Due to this act, most of the Turkish composers were educated abroad and came back to teach classical music from the western way of writing to the playing of music. By 1924 all had changed with Orchestra giving free performances in schools specifying in music education.
The introduction of new instruments like trumpets, pianos and saxophones in the cultural centers and villages paved the way for a new era in music. By the 70s, Arabesque music dominated the area with most popular Turkish musicians adapting to this type of music.
Turkish folk music is mainly a combination of district cultural values and civilizations that were in Turkey. This was one of the most popular music in the Ottoman Empire Era. The introduction of Turkish folk music to air came in 1960 with some names like Neset Ertas becoming even popular.
Türkü as the folk songs is said to have originated from music traditions in Turkey. Şarkı is the folk songs which originated from all other songs, which includes different music. This type of music is played with various instruments including cumbus, baglama, Kabak Keane and kemenche.
The regional folk music is accompanied by folk dances which vary from one region to another. In turkey, this type of music is viewed as the music for the people.
With the massive influence of the Italian theatre and opera in Turkish culture, Kanto music came to light as one of the songs sung between acts. These are the solos or duets sung based on traditional eastern makam. They are usually performed with western instruments to spice up the experience.
This type of music was first introduced in 1922 in musical theatres in Galata. The Kanto singers were also very proficient composers coming up with emotional and extraordinary samples of melodies.
Presently, Kanto is labelled as anything outside the usual trend. Moreover, music played with varying instruments and free rhythmic is labelled Kanto. It is more like a forerunner in present-day pop culture.
The birth of western culture in Turkish music paved the way for the most popular styles and music like rock, jazz, roil and even tango. Presently, hip hop, heavy metal, and reggae also dominate the world of music in Turkey.
Sezen Aksu was one of the stunning contributors to the unique Turkish pop music. In the early 50s and 60s, she was the most motivated advocate of Turkey to enter the Eurovision song contest. Modern music in Turkey is filled with exciting rhythm and style.
Turkish Hip Hop
Turkish hip hop came from a group of a migrant worker community in Germany. The music engaged with the young generation, and by 1995 the Turkish German community came up with a hip hop crew called Cartel.
Presently, hip hop is enjoyed by the young generation widely with Saian, Hayki and salvo as some of the famous figures in this type of genre.
By the late 1960s, rock music made its way into the hearts of Turkish individuals, with Popular USA and UK bands dominating the area. This was when rock and folk came as one forming the Anatolian rock (Turkish rock). Nowadays, different groups share this type of music with the world.
Traditional and modern music in Turkey hits the sky with the most refreshing advances over the years. Only the future will tell the changes this fantastic music will take.
FOLK DANCE OF TURKEY
Turkey is known for its sophisticated culture that reflects in various dances. These folk dances are standard at wedding ceremonies, national and regional festivals, meetings like the ferfene, yaren talks and many more. Frequently, the dances are in open areas, but they can be shown in closed areas as well. Here, people enjoy themselves, exploring the wide variety of dance moves from different regions. The standard form of dances you can come across is the line dance. Generally, there are numerous flock dances which are performed inconsistently to reflect the rich culture from every region. These dances include the Halay from the East and Southeast, Konya and Leziginka where the Horon dominates the area; the Hore is from Thrace, Zeybek from Aegean and Bar from Erzurum. Their costume and way of presentation are imposing for any curious mind.
History of the Folk Dance in Turkey
Without a glimpse of the Ottoman Palace, the history of the Turkish dance is never complete. At the beginning (the sixteenth century), the dances started as saloon dances which were seen in ceremonies and celebrations for the rulers of Europe. The Hippodrome was a typical stage to most spectacular performances in the Ottoman times. Here, villagers from around the palace came to perform their dances. Given the different cultures from the various districts, the dances grow separately with each region presenting different dancing skills. Despite Westernization becoming a massive part of the significant changes in Turkey, they still preserve their culture by ensuring their dance is a part of their lifestyle. Moreover, in turkey, dance is analyzed as a cultural element, where people go to dancing schools to learn these dances.
Here are dominant Turkish dances you can come across from the rich culture in Turkey.
From Eastern Turkey, the Bar is a structured formation dance that is performed by groups in open areas. It is presentable by both the male and the female gender. In this dance, people move side by side while Turkish music fills the air with utmost skill from the talented instrumentalist. People often wear costumes when performing this dance, to bring out the native Turkish style.
As an Aegean dance, the dance is filled with colorfully dressed dances called EFe. Men mainly dance a symbol of courage and heroism. It is a traditional dance in Western Anatolia, with the music played varying in tempo, from slow, fast and eventually high-speed. Generally, the measures of the dance are from 9/2 to 9/8.
The Horon is a uniquely crafted flock dance, which is entirely different from other dances from some parts of Turkey. Horon which comes from the Greek word Choros, meaning dance, is a dance in the Black sea region in present Turkey. The dance is characterized by short strips, with a unique tempo, rhythm and measure from all the Turkish dances. It is performed in groups measuring 7/16 since their melodies are perceived to be very fast. Moreover, it’s challenging to use any instrument to pull through this dance. The dancers are in black with silver trimmings, with their arms linked, quivering to the vibrations of the kemence.
You will find the Hora dance in most wedding ceremonies. The dance is structured with fast performance and a dominant measure of 9/8. The dancers bring out a frenzied environment that suits a wedding ceremony at the same time promoting their culture.
Performed in Eastern, southeastern and Central Anatolia, this is an exotic Turkish dance with vibrant figure and structure. The dance is presented with a drum-zurm and a kaval to maintain the constant rhythm for the dancers to excite the crowd. This is the leading Turkish dances that are common in Turkey. Nevertheless, there are numerous dances in Turkish that you can explore.
Other Folk Dances in Turkey
This is a dance performed from Silifke to Konya. It is performed by both male and female dancers, where dancers use a wooden spoon to make a danceable rhythm, at the same time dancing to the music.
This is a traditional Turkish dance among the youth.
Astonishingly, this is a dance that is performed with no rhythmic instrument, and its melodies measure up to 9/8. The dance usually takes a worldly turn with references to suppression and sublimation of desire.
Shiksaray is a Turkish dance, which is believed to have originated from the Black sea region.
Van and Adiyaman
Van and Adiyaman are the most frequently dance styles that have grown popular in Turkey. They are performed with various groups in different ceremonies to ignite the dull spirit of the crowd.
Various dance groups are known to perform outstanding dances, with exciting performances, among them is the Caucasian dance group. The caucasian dance group is a specular dance group in Turkish dance performance, serving as a must-watch experience for most visitors. Explore the Turkish culture with their amusing dances to leave your spirits lifted. You can never get enough in this beautiful culture.
The Ottoman Empire had a significant effect on the Turkish Cuisine. As an impressive mix of culture from central Asia, Eastern Europe and Middle East, the Turkish Cuisine comes into various techniques and cooking styles, offering a unique but similar taste. In the western region of Turkey, you will come across a cuisine that is rich in vegetable herbs and fish. Meat-based food is also typical in Turkish Cuisine. A great example is the ‘Kebab’ that contains meat and hot pepper.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The Turkish breakfast is composed of some of the enriched foodstuffs you can come across. This includes butter, eggs, cheese, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, pastırma, kaymak and sucuk. You may be served with ‘Menemen’, which is a delicious breakfast meal prepared with tomatoes, onions, tomatoes, pepper, eggs in butter or olive oil. The turkish tea is served hot.
Despite the increase in the number of different foods served in the country, Turkish people prefer the experience of exciting dishes of Turkish Cuisine; Döner, Kumpir, Kokorec and Köfte are mostly served as fast meals in Turkey.
Zeytinyagli (oliveoil dishes)
You can never complete the Turkish cuisines without Dolma. Dolma is prepared using vegetables either fresh or dried, peppers, tomatoes and even zucchinis, which are stuffed with a mixture of rice and onions alongside with different spices. Dolma is also prepared with mince meat.
Sarma is a Turkish word which means wrap. Sarma offers a delicious taste that is very popular in most areas of the Middle East. Traditional Yaprak Sarma is prepared using wrapped vine leaves, which are filled with rice, onions and spices. Also using chard leaves, or cabbages which are strategically combined with grains and minced meat.
Origin of Sarma
Sarma is believed to have originated from the Ottoman Empire from the Middle East
TURKISH DISHES WITH MEAT
Well, if you love meat, why not enjoy the most excellent Turkish Cuisine made with beef. Herewith the most delicious dishes ;
Made with a pizza-like appearance, Lahmacun is dominated with minced meat and onions made into a flaky dough. This meal is best when served with tomatoes, parsley, rocket and some people will prefer squeezed lemon.
This is a must-have dish for people visiting Turkey. The dish is prepared with fried eggplants, minced meat, parsley, tomato filling and onions. When cooked, the eggplant peel is not smudged. Moreover, the meat is always maintained wet and light for a fantastic experience.
The Kurufasulye is one meal that can be prepared in different ways, but the common ingredient you must have is beans. In this case, this meal is equipped with dried spiced beef called Pastırma. It can be served with plain rice, and it’s most certainly a familiar figure in most lucrative restaurants in Turkey.
Yogurts are an essential dairy product in Turkish Cuisine. In this country, you will find that almost all the meals go well with yogurt. There are different varieties you can explore to your satisfaction, for instance, the strained yogurt, which is made by straining the yogurt curds with whey. Another dairy product in Turkish Cuisine is cheese, which is produced in a wide variety.
The Turkish Cuisine accommodates more foodstuffs than you can ever imagine, for instance, the Pilav and Pastries, which spread widely across the region. That’s why you can never get enough of this beautiful traditional Turkish Cuisine.
TURKISH KEBAB :
Kebab refers to a great variety of meat-based dishes in Turkish cuisine. Kebab in Turkey encompasses not only grilled or skewered meats, but also stews and casseroles.
Consisted of chicken or meat, Döner kebap is a common Turkish fast food
Adana kebap or kıyma kebabı – kebab with hand-minced (zırh) meat mixed with chili on a flat wide metal skewer (shish); associated with Adana region although very popular all over Turkey.
Ali Paşa kebabı, «Ali Pasha kebab» – cubed lamb with tomato, onion and parsley wrapped in phillo.
Alinazik kebab – Ground meat kebab sautéed in a saucepan, with garlic, yogurt and eggplants added.
Bahçıvan kebabı, ‘gardener’s kebab’ – Boneless lamb shoulder mixed with chopped onions and tomato paste.
Beyti kebab – Ground lamb or beef, seasoned and grilled on a skewer, often served wrapped in lavash and topped with tomato sauce and yogurt, traced back to the famous kebab house Beyti in İstanbul and particularly popular in Turkey’s larger cities.
Bostan kebabı – Lamb and aubergine casserole.
Buğu kebabı, «steamed kebap» – cooked in low heat until the meat releases its moisture and reabsorbs it.
Cağ kebab, ‘spoke kebab’ – Cubes of lamb roasted first on a cağ (a horizontal rotating spit) and then on a skewer, a specialty of Erzurum region with recently rising popularity.
Ciğerli kağıt kebabı, ‘liver paper kebab’ – Lamb liver kebab mixed with meat and marinated with thyme, parsley and dill.
Çardak kebabı, ‘arbor kebab’ – Stuffed lamb meat in a crêpe.
Çökertme kebabı – Sirloin veal kebap stuffed with yogurt and potatoes.
Çömlek kebabı, ‘earthenware bowl kebab’ – Meat and vegetable casserole (called a güveç in Turkish) with eggplant, carrots, shallots, beans, tomatoes and green pepper.
Çöp şiş, «small skewer kebab» – a specialty of Selçuk and Germencik near Ephesus, pounded boneless meat with tomatoes and garlic marinated with black pepper, thyme and oil on wooden skewers.
Hünkâri kebabı, ‘Sultan’s kebab’ – Sliced lamb meat mixed with patlıcan beğendi (aubergine purée), basil, thyme and bay leaf.
İskender kebap – döner kebap served with yogurt, tomato sauce and butter, originated in Bursa. The kebab was invented by İskender Efendi in 1867. He was inspired from Cağ kebab and turned it from horizontal to vertical.
İslim kebabı, ‘steamed kebab’ – Another version of the aubergine kebab without its skin, marinated in sunflower oil.
Kağıt kebabı – Lamb cooked in a paper wrapping.
Kuyu kebabı, ‘pit kebab’ – Prepared from the goat it is special for Aydın region, similar to tandır kebabı.
Kuzu incik kebabı, ‘lamb shank kebab’ – Lamb shanks mixed with peeled eggplants and chopped tomatoes, cream, salt and pepper.
Kuzu şiş – Shish prepared with marinated milk-fed lamb meat.
Köfte kebap or Şiş köfte – minced lamb meatballs with herbs, often including parsley and mint, on a stick, grilled.
Manisa kebabı – This Manisa region version of the kebab is smaller and flat size shish meat on the sliced pide bread, flavored with butter, and stuffed with tomato, garlic and green pepper.
Orman kebabı, ‘forest kebab’ – Lamb meat on the bone and cut in large pieces mixed with carrots, potatoes and peas.
Patates kebabı, ‘potato kebab’ – Beef or chicken mixed with potatoes, onions, tomato sauce and bay leaves.
Patlıcan kebabı, ‘aubergine kebab’ – Special kebap meat marinated in spices and served with eggplant (aubergine), hot pide bread and a yogurt sauce.
Şiş kebabı – Prepared with fish, lamb or chicken meat on thin metal or reed rods, grilled.]
Şiş tavuk or Tavuk şiş – Yogurt-marinated chicken grilled on a stick
Sivas kebabı – Associated with the Sivas region, similar to Tokat kebab but especially lamb ribs are preferred and it also differs from Tokat kebabı on the point that there are no potatoes inside.
Susuz kebap, ‘waterless kebab’ – Cooked after draining excess fluid from the meat rubbed with salt and cinnamon in saucepan.
Talaş kebabı, ‘sawdust kebab’ – Diced lamb, mixed with grated onions, brown meat mixed with flour dough.
Tandır kebabı, ‘tandoor kebab’ – Lamb pieces (sometimes a whole lamb) baked in an oven called a tandır, which requires a special way of cooking for hours. Served with bread and raw onions.
Tas kebabı, ‘bowl kebab’ – Stewed kebab in a bowl, beginning with the cooking of the vegetables in butter employing a method called yaga vurmak, («butter infusion»), before the meat itself is cooked in the same grease.
Testi kebabı, ‘earthenware-jug kebab’ – Ingredients are similar to çömlek kebabı, prepared in a testi instead of a güveç, generally found in Central Anatolia and the Mid-Western Black Sea region.
Tokat kebabı – Associated with the Tokat region, it is made with veal marinated in olive oil, aubergine, tomatoes, potatoes, onion, garlic and special pita bread.
Urfa kebabı – is from Adana, but not spicy
BAKLAVA: One of the world-renowned desserts of Turkish cuisine is baklava. Baklava is made either with pistachio or walnut. Turkish cuisine has a range of baklava-like desserts which include şöbiyet, bülbül yuvası, saray sarması, sütlü nuriye, and sarı burma.
‘Kadayıf’ is a common Turkish dessert that employs shredded yufka. There are different types of kadayif: tel (wire) or Burma (wring) kadayıf, both of which can be prepared with either walnut or pistachio.
Although carrying the label «kadayıf», ekmek kadayıfı is totally different from «tel kadayıf» . Künefe and ekmek kadayıfı are rich in syrup and butter, and are usually served with kaymak (clotted/scrambled butter). Künefe contains wire kadayıf with a layer of melted cheese in between and it is served hot with pistachio or walnut.
Among milk-based desserts, the most popular ones are muhallebi, su muhallebisi, sütlaç (rice pudding), keşkül, kazandibi (meaning the bottom of «kazan» because of its burnt surface), and tavuk göğsü (a sweet, gelatinous, milk pudding dessert quite similar to kazandibi, to which very thinly peeled chicken breast is added to give a chewy texture). A speciality from the Mediterranean region is haytalı, which consists of pieces of starch pudding and ice cream (or crushed ice) put in rose water sweetened with syrup.
Helva (halva): un helvası (flour helva is usually cooked after someone has died), irmik helvası (cooked with semolina and pine nuts), yaz helvası (made from walnut or almond), tahin helvası (crushed sesame seeds), kos helva, pişmaniye (floss halva).
Other popular desserts are; Revani (with semolina and starch), şekerpare, kalburabastı, dilber dudağı, vezir parmağı, hanım göbeği, kemalpaşa, tulumba, zerde, höşmerim, paluze, irmik tatlısı/peltesi, lokma.
Güllaç is a dessert typically served at Ramadan, which consists of very thin large dough layers put in the milk and rose water, served with pomegranate seeds and walnut. A story is told that in the kitchens of the Palace, those extra thin dough layers were prepared with «prayers», as it was believed that if one did not pray while opening phyllo dough, it would never be possible to obtain such thin layers.
Aşure can be described as a sweet soup containing boiled beans, wheat and dried fruits. Sometimes cinnamon and rose water is added when being served. According to a legend, it was first cooked on Noah’s Ark and contained seven different ingredients in one dish. All the Anatolian peoples have cooked and are still cooking aşure especially during the month of Muharrem.
Some traditional Turkish desserts are fruit-based: ayva tatlısı (quince), incir tatlısı (fig), kabak tatlısı (pumpkin), elma tatlısı (apple) and armut tatlısı (pear). Fruits are cooked in a pot or in the oven with sugar, carnation and cinnamon (without adding water). After being chilled, they are served with walnut or pistachio and kaymak.
Homemade cookies are commonly called kurabiye in Turkish. The most common types are acıbadem kurabiyesi (prepared only with egg, sugar and almond), un kurabiyesi (flour kurabiye) and cevizli kurabiye (kurabiye with walnut). Another dough based dessert is ay çöreği.
Tahin-pekmez is a traditional combination especially in rural areas. Tahin is sesame paste and pekmez is grape syrup. These are sold separately and mixed before consumption.
Lokum (Turkish delight), which was eaten for digestion after meals and called «rahat hulkum» in the Ottoman era, is another well-known sweet/candy with a range of varieties.
Cezerye, cevizli (walnut) sucuk (named after its sucuk/sujuk like shape, also known as Churchkhela in Circassian region) and pestil (fruit pestils) are among other common sweets.
Marzipan badem ezmesi or fıstık ezmesi (made of ground pistachio) is another common confection in Turkey.
Another jelly like Turkish sweet is macun. Mesir macunu of Manisa/İzmir (which was also called «nevruziye» as this macun was distributed on the first day of spring in the Ottoman Palace) contains 41 different spices. It is still believed that «mesir macunu» is good for health and has healing effects. As with lokum, nane macunu (prepared with mint) used to be eaten as a digestive after heavy meals. Herbs and flowers having curative effects were grown in the gardens of Topkapı under the control of the chief doctor «hekimbaşı» and pharmacists of the Palace who used those herbs for preparing special types of macun and sherbet.
Tavuk göğsü is a Turkish style milky pudding with chicken breast.
There are also several types of ice creams based salep powder or Cornstarch with Rose water such as Dondurma (Turkish gum ice cream), dried fruit ice cream, ice cream rose petals.
Dried fruit, used in dolma, pilav, meat dishes and other desserts is also eaten with almonds or walnuts as a dessert. Figs, grapes, apricots are the most widespread dried fruits.
Kaymak (clotted cream-butter) is often served with desserts to cut the sweetness.
Turkish tea or Turkish coffee, with or without sugar, is usually served after dinner or more rarely together with desserts.
Located close by the natural wonder of Pamukkale, the ancient city of Hierapolis was founded in 190 BC. Being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hierapolis flourished under the Roman era. The ruins of the Roman mineral water spa city of Hierapolis include a grand theater, a vast North Necropolis (cemetery), colonnaded street, baths, and numerous other ruined structures.Hierapolis, it would appear, was a place many sick people came in search of a cure, but died instead. One of these was the Apostle Philip, who died while on a visit here with his daughter in the year 80. Ruins of his grand martyrium (monumental tomb of a martyr) lie up the hill and just outside the city walls. At the center of the plateau are the Antique Pool, Archeological Museum, and the calcium travertines. Up the hill about a 10-minute walk from the Antique Pool is the great Roman theater. Restored by Italian artisans in 1972, it was capable of seating more than 12,000 spectators.
This place is an archeological site. The ruins of Roman Hierapolis are above the travertines, on the plateau half way up the mountainside. There are three entrances to the plateau.
Pamukkale‘s Antique Pool remains from Roman times, when it was the spiritual center of the spa city of Hierapolis. Surrounded by oleanders, palm trees, pines and cypresses, and littered with the fluted drums of fallen marble columns, plinths and the occasional capital from the nearby Temple of Apollo, the pool is constantly refreshed by an inflow of hot calcium-laden mineral water.
The great theater of Hierapolis, up the hillside from the Ancient Pooland the Archeological Museum, was beautifully restored by Italian stonemasons in 1972, and is well worth the walk up the hill to see.
The former Roman baths of Hierapolis have been converted to a nice little museum of artifacts discovered among the extensive ruins of Hierapolis.
In the Valencian Region there is a wide and ancient popular musical tradition. From the Municipal Musical Bands to the multitude of groups of friends who decide to create an urban music band.
In Valencia we have our own instruments.
Dolcaina is a double-tongued wind instrument belonging to the oboe family. It consists of a conical tube about 30 centimeters in length in which there are 7 holes. This instrument is typically used in traditional Valencian music.
The tabal or tabalet is a cylindrical percussion musical instrument, with two membranes – usually leather – that emits an indeterminate sound. There are of all sizes, although the tabalet is usually a drum of medium dimensions, which can be hung around the neck.
The tabalet pairs with the sweetness in the interpretation of the Valencian Song and both are useful instruments to musically liven up any street party
Tradition of music bands
Valencia collects a long musical tradition in its municipal bands and music schools that, over the years, train more than 60,000 students from the different Valencian municipalities. In addition, they play an important role in preserving and enhancing Valencian heritage through their popular traditions and festivals such as the Fallas.
More than 500 musical societies grouped by the Federation of Musical Societies of the Valencian Region (FSMCV), represent approximately half of those existing in Spain and bring together 40,000 musicians and more than 200,000 associated members.
As is normal throughout Spain, the Valencian community is very rich in typical music and dances. Almost every town has its own, which is surely minimally different from others. The most popular are the Jacks and the «dawns».
Popular songs from the Valencian Region
Next we want to take a tour of five of our most popular songs to discover the richness of traditional Valencian music.
La manta al coll
A song that everyone knows in Alicante is undoubtedly «La manta al coll», a song with a humorous touch, original from this province.
With fuzzy origins, this song can be known by other names rather than Ramonet such as Pasqualet, Masseret, Miquelet… but in all the rest of the lyrics he tells us about a country man, who asks him that when he goes to the orchard he brings figs and apricots. It is a much-loved song at parties, and is played with traditional instruments: dolcaina and tabalet.
A song that is not only played in the rest of Spain but has reached places as remote as Mexico, Bolivia or Ukraine is the Pasodoble Xàbia, one of the best known and performed in Spain. Created by composer Salvador Salvá in 1976, this song has been named after the population practically on 5 continents.
Uncle Pep is the protagonist of this popular song with the same name, perhaps one of the most famous and covered of the Valencian Region. The lyrics tell us the story of a Valencian labrador who goes to the village of Muro to buy himself a tartan and a donkey so that he can till his orchard.
The rooting of music in the Valencian Community has also led to the emergence of numerous urban music bands; many of the groups have crossed the borders of the community and are a reference of music in Valencian or Catalan.
The most popular ones:
La gossa Sorda
La Gossa Sorda was a Valencian musical group that singed in Valencian from the town of Pego, in the province of Alicante. Among the styles of music they encompass are rock, punk, reggae, and Sandx, with the use of many Mediterranean rhythms and other influences.
Obrint Pas was a Spanish music group from the city of Valencia. His music is a fusion of ska, rock and some elements of punk with traditional Valencian melodies and instruments among which the dolcaina stands out.
His style has been based on ska, reggae and drum and bass, but in their latter stage they have advanced towards more electronic rhythms where you can see the presence of dubstep. They have thus achieved their own style by combining electronic sounds with the style that has prevailed until then.1 They were one of the most representative bands of the Valencian Region.
Valencian musical group born in 2014 in Gandía that focuses on rap, breakbeat, reguetón, rock and ska, mixed with electronic rhythms. The lyrics of the songs deal with current political and social issues.
El Diluvi is defined as a modern folk music group that fuses different musical styles, such as cumbia, reggae, rumba, folk and traditional and Valencian-rooted music. With Mediterranean instruments such as violin, bandurria, diatonic accordion, flamenco guitar, guitar and percussion of all kinds, they create a new style they call Mediterranean Mestizaje.
Valencian cuisine is a clear example of the Mediterranean diet, where products from the Mediterranean sea and the Valencian garden are the fundamental key to Valencian dishes. Paella is the most characteristic recipe in the entire region and the one that has crossed international borders. Even so, the Levantine cookbook has more traditional dishes such as Fideuà and other recipes where local products from each area prevail.
One of the most common Valencian entrees is called Esgarraet, Especant or Esguellat (depending on the location). It is a salad of roasted vegetables, salted cod, garlic and olive oil. Depending on each area, one or the other vegetables are used, although the basic ones are eggplant and red pepper. Cocas, empanadillas and rosquilletas are other of the most common appetizers in all Valencian homes and bakeries.
But without a doubt, the dish that generates the most admiration and controversy at the same time is the famous Paella. But what ingredients does the traditional Valencian Paella have? Paella has many variants depending on the area where it is prepared, such as Vegetable Paella, Seafood Paella, Meat Paella, Mixed … Although the most popular is Meat Paella and this would be the one that could be coined as «Valencian Paella». The main ingredients with which it is prepared are: round rice, chicken, rabbit, garrofó, beans and fresh rosemary. A term associated with Paella is socarrat and many are the followers of this effect of the rice in the Paella, which is achieved just at the end of cooking.
If you want to explore more about the ingredients of Paella and become professional paella masters, you can consult more information on Wikipaella, a website where you can find out what ingredients are traditionally used to make the classic Paellas of the Valencian Community.
Another popular and recognized dish is the Fideuà, more typical of the Valencian coastal areas. La Fideuà is made like Paella, but its ingredients are noodles, fish and fresh seafood from each local market.
Below are different Valencian recipes:
In the inland area of Valencia, baked rice is very traditional. A rice that is cooked as its name indicates in the oven and is made in a clay pot. Formerly it was a recipe of use that was made with the leftovers of the Valencian Pot or Pot, so in this rice we will find: black pudding, pork ribs, meatballs (Valencian pilota), chickpeas, pig’s ear, etc.
On the other hand, Valencia has many products with designation of origin, examples of this are the Valencian clóchinas, tasty mussels with a Mediterranean character, the artichokes from Benircarló, the dates from Elche, the ñoras from Guardamar, the honey from the Marina Alta , Valencian oranges, rice from the Albufera fields, DO Utiel-Requena wines or the famous prawns from Vinaroz.
Galician regional dance is a very complex culture, with a rich folk heritage. Within Galicia, depending on the area you go to, you will find it in different ways, there are places where the «Muñeira» has more influence, in others «xota» and the area closest to Portugal the «polkas».
But the «muiñeira» is one of the best known and most used rhythms. It has become so popular that it has undergone multiple variations. Although they all have the same musical structure, their rhythm is faster and happier.
In addition to dancing, Galician culture also counts on the music that is made up of bagpipes and tambourines. The bagpipers are a very important piece to dance, like the cantareiras, since without all of them you can’t dance because the music is live.
how it is danced and the melody of the dances. Despite this, there are many dance groups and bagpipe bands throughout Galicia, especially in the towns.
It is one of the most beautiful cultures in Spain
It is mainly held in the south of the Valencian Community. These festivities commemorate the battles that were fought during the Reconquest. Alcoi, Castalla, Villena, Cocentaina, Elda, Ibi, Ontinyent and Banyeres, among many others, are localities where this tradition is celebrated.
Carnival of Vinaròs
One of the most famous carnivals in the Mediterranean basin. It dates back to 1871 and is held in the town of Vinaròs, in the north of the region.
The Queens Gala takes place in the Bullring of Vinaròs, and more than seven thousand people attend the gala. An eye-catching montage is carried out in which the color, fantasy, imagination and colors stand out. The presenters of the Gala give way to different comparsas (groups of friends) that show their spectacular costumes.
Festivity of Our Virgin of Health of Algemesí
About 1,400 people participate in the celebration of these festivities in Algemesí town each year, both in theatrical performances, in music concerts, as well as in dance shows.
Fallas of Valencia
The Fallas de Valencia is the most important festival of the city, they are celebrated in honor of San José, patron saint of carpenters, and have been declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco. This holiday comprises 5 days, start with the «plantá» of faults, which is when they are built by the different neighborhoods of the city, and conclude the day of «la cremo», when these same monuments are devoured by the flames.
These festivals are also characterized by gunpowder; every day a sound show is held, with a pyrotechnic montage in the town hall square.
•Fair of All Saints of Cocentaina
This festivity consists of an open-air market. It is the second oldest in all of Spain, it was created in 1346. It takes place in the town of Cocentaina. This fair has been declared of Cultural Interest and Festival of International Tourist Interest. This fair is divided into three main spaces: the most important is that of agricultural machinery, followed by the Arab souk(where typically Arab products are marketed) and the Christian market.
June 23rd is a very special day, also known in Galicia as “a noite de San Xoán”, the night of St. John. It is a ritual celebration that originates in the pre-christian ages of our land. In the old times, it was celebrated as the summer solstice.
This is associated with the shortest night of the year in the northern hemisphere the longest in the southern), though that usually happens around the 21st.
Fire is the ritual item for the celebration. The night of San Xoán it is tradional to jump over a bonfire, known as “cacharela”. Galician people have the superstition of jumping three times in a row over the fire to avoid “meigas” (witches) and call for a year of health and good luck.
Todas All feasts are about food!! We like good food, a lot! So, with the bonfire, it is traditional to dinner roasted sardines, with cornbread, and “cachelos” (potatoes cooked in the ashes, not peeled). They are delicious!, and it seems that in San Xoán night are better than ever!
Before the night comes, during the afternoon and the evening, it is also very traditional to take a walk around the countryside, and pick some flowers and herbs.
Then they are placed in water in a bowl, and left ovenight outside, letting night dew fall on it. In the morning you wash your face and hands with this water as soon as you get up from bed.
It is the best skin-care treatment of all times! This is a ritual, so certain flowers and herbs have to be chosen, not any! The most common “recipe” is to use at least 7, associated with medicinal and aromatic properties.
You can find a list with the traditional herbs. Try this beautiful experience!
Herba de San Xoán ou hipérico. Abeluria. Hypericum perforatum.