The Effect of Culture on Food Consumption; a Case of Special Religious Days in Turkey

  •  Dilistan Shipman    
  •  Beril Durmus    


Cultural beliefs and traditions influence the consumption and the preparation of certain foods especially in special times in different cultures. Religion and traditions in different cultures lead to restrictions of some food from the diet. Culture and religion influence food consumption patterns. This paper documents how culture, religion and traditional knowledge impacts the food purchasing behavior and food choices. Most people in Turkey are Muslims and traditionally, their food consumption is influenced by the culture especially in Ramadan which involves religious fasting days and Ramadan is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practice self-discipline and sacrifice. “Şeker Bayramı” which symbolizes the end of the fasting, is the first day of Shawwal, and it is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar period in which people treat their guests to sweets and traditional desserts. “Kurban Bayramı” commemorates Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael to show his faithfulness to Allah takes place 70 days after the end of Ramadan and during these days the meat of the slaughtered animal is shared with the poor and neighbors. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of Islamic beliefs and culture in moderating consumer’s attitudes, purchase intentions and consumption of food during these special days. A questionnaire was administered online among 297 participants and the responses were collated with factor analysis, independent sample T-test and ANOVA tests. The empirical research indicates variable food consumption practices during the Muslim festivals.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.