One part of it is green mountain slope whose summit is snowy, one part of it is sea, one part of it smells history and one part of it is dried fruits and nuts… Bursa, which is modern and developed city and offers a life intimate with nature, attracts attention in summer and winter with its festivals. The celebrations in the city, which were welcomed with festivals when it was included in the Turkish geography in the year 1326, are subsisting even today.
Every season comes with a different enthusiasm. While the spring is making the celebration preparations, summer is also like the beginning of the festival. Bursa - which is nested with the green and which is the pearl of the Marmara – with the coming of the summer months, continues hosting festivals, entertaining and unforgettable moments.
We can say that Bursa, which is one of the most valuable cities of the region and country with so many natural and historical centre of attractions, performed its first festival in the Turkish history in 1326. It was the case that; Bursa’s siege took long time, the army under the command of Orhan Bey grew tired of waiting and got bored. To make their situation something more entertaining, by equipping their swords and shields, in a way that reminded their drill, they started to turn the situation into a game with various movements by hitting their swords onto the shield of the soldiers in front of them. In time, sword hits on shields took a rhythmic state, soldiers movements took more of an aesthetic style. So, it can be said that the Green Bursa’s first festival became this sword and shield game. Afterwards, this game managed to took place in t activities in city celebrations.
National and international festivals are being organized in Bursa throughout the year. International Bursa Festival, Keles Kocayayla Festival, Cumalıkızık Raspberry Festival, International İznik Festival and Eskikaraağaç Stork Festival are the most known ones among them.
International Eskikaraağaç Stork Festival
Main heroes of the festival, storks come to the village every year in June and become visitors in Eskikaraağaç village during their breeding period. While there are nests in the village adopted by families, all stork families and numbers coming to the village are being recorded in the system created in the observatory. Visitors coming to the museum within the observatory find the opportunity to view different kind of birds living in the region and to obtain information about the species. In “International Eskikaraağaç Stork Festival” which is organized in June every year, also visitors who have representation offices in European countries and coming from 14 countries, are hosted as well. Besides the concerts, activities for kids, boat trips, exhibitions and delicious foods that the village women make, among the opportunities that the festival offers, there is the “Stork Walking Track” upon which walks are taken and in the meantime offers the opportunity to watch storks looking for fish in the lake. Storks, which become visitors for 3 months in the village during the summer months, they empty their nests by the decrease of and start migrating to warm countries.
Countries which are in European Stork Villages chain and harbour stork villages; Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, Spain, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Germany, Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Austria and Switzerland. In this festival, from the European Stork Villages wall, detailed information can be obtained about the villages in these countries.
International Bursa Festival
International Bursa Festival which has been performed since the year 1962 in Bursa, takes place between June 1st – July 1st every year. And the festival’s – first organized in Bursa Stadium with the name of “Bursa Festival”, becoming to its current state, was realized by a decision, taken in 1982. In time, the artistic activities like opera, ballet, music, jazz and theatre were added to the festival which was started to be performed in Outdoor Theatre at Kültürpark after that year. In the next years, these activities started to be performed as being divided into different festivals such as the Theatre Festival, Europe Movie Festival, Cinema Days, Puppet and Shadow Plays, Independence Festivals, Conquest Days, Photograph Days and Literature Days.
Cumalıkızık Raspberry Festival
Cumalıkızık, which is found in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List and has more than 700 years of history and carries examples of Ottoman Period’s rural civil architecture, hosts the Raspberry festival, which it organizes every year. This festival which was given the name of raspberry, one of the most important values of this region, in the beginning started as a local festival and then reached an international scale afterwards. In the festival where there are various activities, delicious foods that village people make and local games, also “The Most Beautiful Raspberry Contest,” is organized as well.
International İznik Festival
International İznik Festival is performed every year in August to introduce all beauties of İznik from its history to nature and from culture to art. Folk dancing groups and groups from different countries come to the festival that has been performed since 2011. Since the year it was organized, it has hosted foreign folklore groups coming from 30 different countries, and at the same time it has hosted out country’s famous and local artists’ concerts. Every year, thousands of participants show great interest in this festival which is so entertaining and joyous as well.
Keles Kocayayla Festival
In Keles, Kocayayla, where Ottoman Empire pavilion was set up, where Orhan Gazi and Lady Nilüfer’s wedding took place and Turkey’s biggest plateau, where the“Keles Kocayayla Festival” takes place, every year hosts folklore, local copper games, sword and shield shows and concerts. Bursagaz will also give a magic touch to the festival that will take place on the 20th-21th of July of this year on Saturday and Sunday. The most important values that Bursagaz, which will take place in the festival for 2 days, made Keles gain, will be its office which it will make its opening together with the festival and the groundbreaking ceremony for the natural gas infrastructure.