The International Hıdırellez Festival was held in Kocaeli on 5-6 May 2018 in cooperation with Kocaeli Metropolitan Municipality, Balkan Turks Culture and Solidarity Association (BAL-TÜRK) and Union of Turkish World Municipalities (TDBB).
At this year’s Hidirellez Festival, which is the fifth held until now, folklore teams from Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Macedonia performed folklore shows and sang the Balkan folk songs together.
On the first day of the V. International Hıdırellez Festival, a tradition of milking the animals was carried out in Karatepe Village. Then, folklore teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Turkey performed their show. The show that was liked by the guests and the villagers was accompanied by the ordinary citizens as well.
On the second day of the Hıdırellez Festival, after the harvesting and hanging on the doors willow branches in the Seka Culture area, the animal sacrifice in Karatepe Village and the ritual of shepherd shift change was made. The same day, in the evening at the Balkan Culture House in the Sekapark Cultural Area, a copper bucket buried the day before was taken out. With the dinner, folklore performances and local concerts at the Balkan Culture House garden, Hıdırellez Festival has ended. Mutual gifts were presented after the program.
The program was completed on, Monday 7 May 2018, with the return of participants from the Balkans to their home country.