Turks prepare to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home in ‘PTT-style’

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Turkish families are preparing themselves to welcome 2021 at home in front of the television, in a way known as the PTT-style. Since the authorities have banned New Year’s Eve revelers from congregating due to the pandemic risk, many families have taken to shopping and filling their bags with nuts, cookies, and the like to prepare themselves for New Year’s Eve and celebrate the night among the company of their near and dear ones.

PTT is an abbreviation for the national post and telegraph directorate of Turkey, but it’s also quite commonly referred to as a 1970s joke for “Pyjama, Terlik, Television” in Turk-ish, which means home celebrations in pajamas, slippers and lying in front of a television.

A family of four to celebrate New Year’s Eve at home must spend at least 200 Turkish Liras ($27) for the “New Year’s table” consisting of soup, rice, salad, main course and dessert, followed by a snack with nuts and fruits.

Due to the restrictions on entertainment in hotels, restaurants and venues within the scope of COVID-19 measures, the shopping rush of those who will welcome the new year at home has started.

For a kilogram of sunflower seeds, salted peanuts and roasted chickpeas, one will spend nearly 40 liras ($5.5). When varieties such as pistachios, cashews, hazelnuts and almonds are added to this mixture, the cost can go up to 90 liras ($12).

Likewise, for enjoying fruits after the meal, such as one kilogram of quince, apple, pear, tangerine and orange, one will have to spend at least 15 liras ($2). With the addition of fruit varieties such as bananas, strawberries and pineapples, which are some of the fancier fruits, the cost could go even higher.

In the Mediterranean province of Antalya, the prices of dried nuts and fruits range between 30 to 60 liras. A kilo of chestnuts is about 30 lira ($4), sunflower seeds 25 liras ($3) and pumpkin seeds 60 liras ($8).

While it is inevitable for a family of four to spend about 200 liras ($27), this figure varies between 300 and 700 liras ($40 and $94) for tables with a wide variety of products.

Engin Sarı, the owner of a dried fruit counter in a market, said that the increase in the number of shoppers for New Year’s Eve has reflected positively on the sales.

“Our sales are intense, as people will spend New Year’s Eve at home due to the coronavirus. Mixed cookies are commonly sold. Chickpeas, peanuts and seeds are also in demand. Prices have increased compared to last year,” Sarı said, adding that customers roughly send between 200 to 500 liras ($27 and $60).

Emphasizing that celebrations are all about spending quality time with near and dear ones, Arzu Savaş, one of the shoppers at a market, said she picked up a variety of things to have a good time with her family members at home on New Year’s Eve.

“I visited the market. It is expensive, but I have allocated a budget to spend on New Year’s Eve. I bought mixed cookies and seeds. We will spend New Year’s Eve at home and celebrate as a family,” she said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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