Serpil Kurtay/ DUVAR

Turkey’s winter festivals kicked off Jan. 24 with the Ayder Snow Festival in the Rize province of the Black Sea that most will recognize by its original name: Ayder Snowmen Festival.

The 13th Ayder Snow Festival took place from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26 and was home to snowmen building competitions, sliding on the snow with rafting boats and other activities including the traditional “horon” dance of the Black Sea region.


Petran Snow Festival

Also organized in Rize, the 13th Petran Snow Festival will be held on Feb. 9 at 2,000-meters-high Meşeköy, traditionally called Petran.

This festival is home to the unique sport of “Petranboard,” a snowboard-like activity that includes an ancient vessel made out of pine trees.

The villagers recently revived the ancient boards their ancestors used as transportation hundreds of years ago.

One-centimeter thick, 30-centimeters wide and about 150-centimeters long, the ancient boards are used with a stick that helps the passenger change direction.

Datça Almond Blossom Festival

The Datça Almond Blossom Festival takes place every year around the time when native almond trees blossom, which will be Feb. 7-9 this year.

Located on the Aegean coast of Turkey, the festival offers almond treats, concerts and dancing as well as gorgeous views.

Whitefest Uludağ

Located in the northwest Bursa province of Turkey, Uludağ is Turkey’s most popular winter sports destination.

Whitefest, going on its sixth year, is held over three weekends in February this year.

The festival is host to over 60 activities including concerts, snow sports and DJ sets.

The event is expected to draw over 12,000 college students from 24 different cities as well as some 400 vendors.

Yapı Kredi Corporate Weekend

Yapı Kredi Corporate Weekend stands out from other winter festivals with its target audience: This event is geared towards working professionals rather than students.

Organized in Uludağ right after the last weekend of Winterfest on Feb.14, Corporate Weekend is on its ninth year.

The event will host a concert by famous Turkish band Athena as well as others, along with DJ sets.

Art festivals

Istanbul will host the Kadıköy Winter Art Festival and the International Istanbul Poetry and Literature Festival.

Held on the weekend of Feb. 8, the Fourth Kadıköy Winter Art Festival will be home to concerts, interviews, plays, dancing and crafts. There will also be vendors at the event.