i’ve never joined an hidrellez celebration in my life and this year, thanks to the municipality of kadikoy, i sort of walked into one. ‘hidrellez’ here stands for spring festival, celebrated on the 5th of may all around turkey. here is some good info in english. anyways, it is believed that whatever you wish that night comes true, as long as you stick to the rules. rule number one is that you visualise your wish, draw it on a piece of paper and then attach that piece of paper on a rose tree and leave it there overnight. [as for the rose tree: according to the legend, the two prophets, hizir and ilyas (elijah) meet that night at a rose tree] rule number two: the next morning you take that piece of paper and throw it into the sea (a river will also do). then there is the jumping over the fire custom. all in all, celebrating hidrellez requires a lot and i’ve never had the chance.
last friday, on our way home, we just walked into a hidrellez celebration on the bagdat cad. in front of the the newly opened ckm (caddebostan kultur merkezi), they have set up a wish tree, which, as can be seen from the photo, has served its due. the fire to be jumped over was also there, and a dear friend of mine had a lot of fun doing the jumping and jumped at least five times as she always forgot to “wish something”. rose plants were being given out, with a special note attached: “with love from selami ozturk [tmayor of kadikoy]. hope all your wishes come true.” nice trick and thanks for all the roses.
i snapped mine and then forgot to draw my wish before going to bed, i was too tired. but i planted it and water it everyday now. next year it will be rife for all my wishes.
Note: Those living on the European side can also join the hidrellez fest organized by the Armada Hotel (next year) they have started it seven years ago, here is some info.