FESTIVITES THAT ARE ORGANIZED IN MEMORY OF THE TURKISH POPULIST WISE MAN NASREDDİN HODJA EVERY YEAR IS HELD FOR THE 56TH TIME THIS YEAR.
Nasreddin Hodja Festivities are organized in memory of Nasreddin Hodja, one of the most important figures of our oral culture, every year in July in Akşehir. Many activities that are going to appeal to culture and art enthusiasts are going to take place at this year’s festival that are going to be celebrated for the 56th time in Akşehir.
The festival begins with the arrival of the symbolic Nasreddin Hodja from the Haydarpaşa Terminal of İstanbul to the Akşehir Terminal by “Humor Train” that also carries the celebrities who are going to participate in the events. On the day of July 5, it continues with the awakening of the symbolic Nasreddin Hodja from his shrine, touring him around the streets of Akşehir, and adding yogurt starter to Akşehir Lake. Concerts, theater plays, and many other events continue with excitement for six days. In addition, many exhibitions, book signings, open forums, and competitions are held.
The Turkish folk wise man Nasreddin Hodja has been known with his subtle-wit that harmonizes the past and future generations for 700 years. Hodja has succeeded to find a special place in the hearts of many people with his jokes that make people laugh and think at the same time; his starter of hope that he had wanted to add into the lake to make yogurt; his donkey, his robe and his turban by delivering messages of peace and tolerance.
Being among the festivities with a long history, first of the Akşehir Nasreddin Hodja Festivities dates back to June 21, 1959. One of the famous writers of Turkey, Aziz Nesin, had been present at the first festivities. A copy of the books published in their country about Nasreddin Hodja had been requested from all the embassies located in Ankara for the bookstand that was opened during the first festivities.
The Nasreddin Hodja Festivities that are held every year in Akşehir has been transformed into an international cultural event since 1973 under the name of International Nasreddin Hodja Festival. In the same year, Nasreddin Hodja and Tourism Association in Akşehir had held “International Nasreddin Hodja Caricature Competition” in tandem with Caricaturists’ Association. Later, Caricaturists’ Association carried on the competition.