Akdamar Island on Turkey’s Van has been home to the “Almond Blossom Festival” amid blossoming trees around Lake Van.
With the support of the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, the Governorship of Van, and the Metropolitan Municipality, the “Almond Blossom Festival” has brought a fresh breeze of blossoming trees which takes on a different beauty every season. Van Governor and Deputy Mayor of Metropolitan Municipality Mehmet Emin Bilmez, other high-ranking officials, and many citizens have joined the festival.
The festival started with a cortege from the central district of Gevaş. The visitors reached the island after a 20-minute boat ride. Within the scope of the activities held in front of Akdamar Church, the folklore team performed. Meanwhile, the bride and groom, who came to the island for the photoshoot, together with Governor Bilmez, and the accompanying protocol members, danced the halay. During the festival, where poems were recited, local artists also sang to Turkish and Kurdish songs.
Speaking at the festival, Governor Bilmez thanked all the institutions that contributed to the festival and added that from now on, they would organize the Almond Blossom Festival every year in the season when almond flowers bloom.
“Our main goal here is to introduce our city to the world, on the one hand, the ancient artifacts that are still standing in the bosom of dozens of civilizations. We want to preserve our natural beauties and riches, and introduce the life, culture , folklore, and music of our people to the world. This is our culture,” he said.
“Akdamar Church was built in Anatolia during the most dominant period of Islamic civilization. This is the greatest symbol of Anatolian Islamic civilization,” he added.
“I hope that after the security forces clear the area from terrorist attacks, we will see serious developments in tourism industry, animal husbandry, and our. Hopefully, there will be more to come,” he said.
The guests who came to the island took lots of photos of the landscape accompanied by the snowy Artos Mountain, the turquoise blue of Lake Van, and the blooming almond trees.
“We hold the first of our festival this year. We will make it permanent by doing it every year. We try to make a significant contribution to the city’s tourism with events,” Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Erol Uslu said.