JOIN US AT TRADITIONAL SPRING FESTIVAL ON MAY 5th, WEDNESDAY EVENING!

WHAT IS "HIDRELLEZ"?

It is said that whatever you wish for on that night, will come true!

"Hıdrellez", is one of the seasonal festivals of all Turkish world which is celebrated as the first day of the "early summer". It is also "day of Hızır", the day on which prophets Hızır and Ilyas met with each other on earth. The words Hızır and İlyas have since fused together pronounced as Hıdrellez. Hıdrellez Day falls on May 5-6. There are various theories about the origin of Hızır and Hıdrellez. Various ceremonies and rituals have been performed for various gods with the arrival of spring or summer in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Iran, Greece and in fact all eastern Mediterranean countries since ancient times. One widespread belief suggests that Hızır is a prophet who has attained immortality by drinking the water of life (ab-ı hayat), and who has reached God, and wanders around among people from time to time, especially in the spring, and helps people in difficulty and distributes plenty and health. The identity of Hızır, the place and the time he lived in are not certain. Hızır is the symbol of spring, and the new life which emerges with it. In Turkey, where belief in Hızır is widespread, the characteristics attributed to him are as follows:

• Hızır rushes to the aid of people in difficulty and grants peoples’ wishes.
• He always helps well-meaning, benevolent people.
• He brings plenty and wealth wherever he stops.
• He brings remedies to those who are troubled and health to the sick.
• He helps plants to grow, animals to reproduce, and human beings to grow strong
• He helps improve peoples’ fortune.
• He is the symbol of good omens.
• He has the God-given power of working miracles.

Hıdrellez Festival, which is still celebrated with grand ceremonies in Anatolia, has been celebrated since ancient times. Although it is celebrated under different names and in different times, it is possible to see the motifs of Hıdrellez in many places. The arrival of spring and awakening of nature have been perceived by mankind as a phenomenon to be celebrated. In fact, Hıdrellez, as a spring festival, has a universal character.

Wish Tree"The Hıdrellez at Ahırkapı" Rituals
The Armada Hotel has first started to organize a semi-contemporary “Hidrellez” at Ahırkapı streets and invited all of Istanbul’s citizens to come and participate in 1997. For the last couple of years “The Hıdrellez at Ahırkapı Streets” event has been turned to a collective civil community activity. Each year the activities begin on Ahirkapi Street and spread to the adjacent streets on 5th of May. Towards midnight the traditional fires will be jumped over and the wishes will be attached on the traditional Nahils. -The individual wishes are written on a piece of paper and attached on the Nahil´s that you will find in front of the Armada Garage.-Nahil is a symbolic "wish-tree" and an ornament from Ottoman culture. The ones at the Ahirkapi Street were first designed and used during an "Earth Day" celebration on April 22, 2002. Since then they are being used as the "wish tree" of the Hıdrellez spring festivals which is organized by "The Association of Ahırkapi Hidrellez Festivals" and supported by local Eminönü Municipality as well as by Istanbul Governorship. Since 2009, the activity is credited and supported by "Istanbul 2010, European Capital of Culture" project.

Until 2009, all the traditional spring foods and drinks (both the traditional ones and the brewery) used to be sold through the street-buffets, while the local musicians perform gypsy and Balkan music. The Ahirkapi Roman Orchestra, which is consisting of the neighboring musician groups of Ahirkapi community, performed street concerts along with the guest performers... Küçük Hasan from Lüleburgaz, a zurna genius, Tamer Kum and his group Trakya Ateşi, Babeski Roman Orkestrası, The "Macedon Koçani Orkestar", Buzuki Orhan; Semaver Theatre Company, Goksenin Ileri Istanbul Songs Group and other surprise bands will perform along with the others during whole evening.

The number of the participants significantly increased and reached 50.000 in 2007, 70.000 in 2008 and over 100.00 in 2009. So since last year the venue had to be carried to a larger venue: The Ahırkapı Park!

So make a wish, put it on Nahıl and enjoy the Festival!
If you can't don't worry! You could also send your wish online through our "Wishes" page!

 

THE NEW VENUE: AHIRKAPI PARK

“The Ahırkapı Hıdrellez Spring Festival” has been celebrated at the streets around the Armada Hotel for the last 9 years. Traditionally, the activities used to begin on Ahırkapı Street and spread to adjacent streets on 5th of May. Last year the venue of festival was slightly changed and carried to the “Ahırkapı Park” on the seaside, also within Ahırkapı neighborhood. So, please keep in mind that on the evening of May the 5th, Wednesday, you will be visiting at the “Ahırkapı Park” for joining into the “Ahırkapı Hıdrellez Spring Festival 2010”! The reason of the re-location was the rapidly and highly increasing number of the participants attending to the festival year by year and the purpose of preventing the participants from the jam caused by huge crowd.

HERE IS THE 2010 PROGRAM:

This year’s event will start by 17:00 at the Ahırkapı Park in Catladikapı and end at 00:30 with the traditional Hidirellez fires on May 5th, Wednesday evening.

Date: May 5th 2010, Wednesday
Venue: Ahırkapı Park, Çatladıkapı
Time: 17:00 – 24:00

16:45 – Opening Concerts at at the Sultanahmet Square

17:00 - Inauguration of “Hıdrellez 2010” at “Ahırkapı Park”

Food & Drinks: 17.00 – 23:30
Street Performances: 17:00 – 22:00

- Various spring foods and drinks at the stalls...
("Döner", "kokoreç" (grilled sheep intestines!), "Pilav" (Rice with chick pea) meatballs, fish in bread, stuffed mussle with olive oil, rice with mussle, pastry, "baklava", ice-cream, dried-nuts and others...)
- Lemonade, "sherbet" and all the other drinks on the wheeled stalls...
- Live Roman music

20:00 - Concerts

Among the groups those will be performing acustic music at the one main stage and in all around the venue this year are Macedon Kocani Orchestar, Group "Kolektif", Buzuki Orhan, “Küçük Hasan”, a Zurna Genious from Lüleburgaz & Tamer Kum, a Drum Master, Göksenin İleri and Anadolu Folk, Trakya All Stars, Ahırkapı Roman Orchestra, "Pire Mehmet" and his Roman Orchestra, Babaeski Roman Orkestrası, Kolektif İstanbul, Semaver Theather Company and various Roman groups from different areas of the world...

23:40 - Hıdrellez 2009 fires...

Entrance Fee: Free entrance
Food & Drinks: Can be bought with "symbolic" prices!
Information: The two Information desks at the two main entrances will fully be at your service!

TRANSPORTATION TIPS TO AND FROM “AHIRKAPI HIDRELLEZ FESTIVAL” EVENT on MAY 5th, 2010

AHIRKAPI PARK : THE NEW VENUE!

“The Ahırkapı Hıdrellez Spring Festival” has been celebrated at the streets around the Armada Hotel untill 2009 for 9 years. Since last year the venue of festival was slightly changed and carried to the “Ahırkapı Park” on the seaside, also within Ahırkapı neighborhood. So, please keep in mind that on the evening of May the 5th, Wdnesday, you will be visiting at the “Ahırkapı Park” for joining into the “Ahırkapı Hıdrellez Spring Festival 2010”! The reason of the re-location is the rapidly and highly increasing number of the participants attending to the festival year by year and the purpose of preventing the participants from the jam caused by huge crowd. If you have been to this event in previous years, we hope, you will much more enjoy it this time…

TRANSPORTATION to and from the VENUE

According to the experiences we have gained during the festivals in the previous years, the best option to get to the venue will be using the public transportation. In fact, we strongly recommend visitors to prefer public transport to and from the venue so that they will travel easier than the ones who drive their own cars.

Public Transportation to the Event Area

1) Take “Kabataş – Zeytinburnu” tramway and get off at “Sultanahmet” station. You may get to the seaside through Çatladıkapı.
2) Take the train from “Sirkeci Main Train Station” and get off at the “Kumkapı” station.
3) Take the bus “81 Sirkeci – Yeşilköy” and get off at the “Çatladıkapı” bus stop.

Those of you who are insistent about coming with their own vehicles, or who need to drive may leave their vehicles to the parking areas listed below:

1) Fatih Municipality Parking Area
2) Sarayburnu Parking Area
3) Cankurtaran Touristic Bus Parking Area
4) Çatladıkapı Touristic Bus Parking Area
5) Yenikapı İDO Parking Area

Visitors coming from Bakırköy – Yeşilköy direction:
You may park your private vehicles to the parking areas at Yenikapı, Kumkapı and Çatladıkapı and reach to the event area on foot.

Visitors coming from Şişli – Beşiktaş direction:
You can park at the “Municipal Car Park” (500 cars capacity) next to the new Chamber of Commerce. Then you have two options; either you take the tramway to Sultanahmet and reach at Çatladıkapı on foot within 15 minutes or you come to Kumkapı by (2 stop) train.

Visitors coming from Kadıköy – Üsküdar direction:
You can take the “Üsküdar – Eminönü” or “Kadıköy – Eminönü” boat for Eminönü. Then you have two options; either you take the tramway to Sultanahmet and reach at Çatladıkapı on foot within 15 minutes or you come to Kumkapı by (2 stop) train.

From the Venue to Kabataş and Beşiktaş piers:
From Between 22:00 and 00:30 hours there will be boat services from Ahırkapı Park.