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May 07
The Other Hidrellez

Hidrellez, the traditional spring festival celebrated with so much gusto by the Roma communities of Istanbul, is upon us. Impromtu battles of the fiddlers, fire dancing, grill smoke and canned beer surely filled the streets of Ahirkapi, a historic Roma neighborhood near Sultanahmet that’s home to an annual Hidrellez blowout that took place on Wednesday. However, in the past few years we’ve observed this celebration transform from a naïve street party into an over-organized commercial endeavor.  In case you missed or skipped the Ahirkapi celebration, we suggest you explore this year’s alternative Hidrellez, in the Sariyer area’s Çayırbaşı nabe, where the Roma to festivalgoer ratio is sure to be a bit more even. The festival will feature dance studios, art projects, and performances of all kinds. In addition to the usual festival offerings of doner kebab, kofte and draft beer, festival organizers are expecting “traditional” Roma cuisine to be served up.

Çayırbaşı Neighborhood Center, Sarıyer
Saturday, May 8, 2010
Art workshops: 1:00PM-6:00
Concerts: 7:30PM-12:00AM

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One Response to “ The Other Hidrellez ”
  1. Thanks for the info! The fest was a great experience. A big neighborhood street party right on the Bosporus, incredible dancing and great music (even though the sound system had problems). I didn’t find any special foods though. Typical balik ekmek and kokorec. Oh well, maybe next year…

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