“Bocuk Night,” a Balkan tradition that can be called “Turkish Halloween,” will be celebrated on Jan. 15, 2022, in the Çamlıca village in the northwestern province of Edirne’s Keşan district, organizers announced on late Dec. 20.
“The first event of the new year in Turkey will be frightening Bocuk Night,” Tahir Demirel, the coordinator of the Bocuk Night project, told the Demirören News Agency.
According to a Balkan tradition that goes back to the middle ages, “Bocuk” is the name of a phantom that is believed to visit and scare people in white dresses.
The “Bocuk Night” is normally celebrated on Jan. 6 every year, in return for the Orthodox Christmas belief.
“The Bocuk Night could not be celebrated last year due to the pandemic. The concept of this year’s Bocuk Night will be the second season of the TV series, Outlander,” Demirel said.
Outlander is a five-season historical drama TV series, which aired between 2014 and 2020, depicting a Second World War military nurse who was transported back in time to the year 1743.
“We will wear special clothes using embroideries from the 17th and 18th centuries,” the organizer said.
When asked why they chose the date of Jan. 15 for the event, Demirel noted, “That date is the coldest day of the year in the province.”
According to Demirel, many academics from the country’s prominent universities are interested in the event.
On Jan. 15, young people will get dressed like “Bocuk”s and will scare the people with chants of “Bocuk is coming.” As a tradition, people serve pumpkins with syrup and walnuts to each other.
At the end of the night, believers throw hardwood into the river. If the hardwood is found frozen in the morning, people believe that the following year will bring wealth and health to the family.
Demirel made a call to all local tourists to visit Edirne in mid-January to participate in the “Bocuk Night” and have fun.
The Bocuk Night was celebrated locally in the Tracia region for years. After 2010, local tourists from Istanbul, the capital Ankara and the western province of İzmir started attending the annual nights and the event became a touristic attraction.
Çamlıca is a village with a population of 950 people throughout the year. At the “2019 Bocuk Night,” an estimated 20,000 tourists flocked to the village causing kilometers-long traffic jams.
Hurriyet Daily News