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Chinese Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr
Latest Updated by 2006-10-25 16:50:27
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Millions of Muslims across China celebrated Eid al-Fitr Monday, the festival that signals the end of the very important Ramadan fast.

People pray at the square in front of the Ed Kah Mosque in Kax, city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 24, 2006, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. (Xinhua Photo)

People pray at the square in front of the Ed Kah Mosque in Kax, city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 24, 2006, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. (Xinhua Photo)

About 1,000 Muslims, wearing festive costume and white skull caps, celebrated the festival in Xihuan Mosque in Yinchuan, capital of Northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Muslims go to each other's homes to greet each other on the festival. Those who work in government departments or companies had the day off.

Muslims regard the festival as an opportunity to educate their children.

When Ma Fangzhou, a primary school student, entered his grandfather's house, he first bowed and greeted the old man politely. Only after greeting all the other elderly people present did he run outside to play with his cousins.

"My father told me to watch closely and do what he does when he performs rituals," said Ma. He took part in a memorial ceremony for his ancestors with his parents before alms giving.

People enjoy delicious food on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 24, 2006.(Xinhua Photo)

Children play in a street of Kax, city of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 24, 2006, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. (Xinhua Photo)

A folk musician from Kazakhstan performs for the audience in Urumqi, capital of west China's Xinjiang Autonomous Region, Oct. 23, 2006, to welcome Eid al-Fitr.(Xinhua Photo)

People walk out of a mosque after praying on the first day of Eid al-Fitr in Urumqi, capital of northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Oct. 24, 2006.(Xinhua Photo)

"The fast-breaking festival is a great opportunity for parents to teach their children," said Ma Songhua, an official in charge of mosque affairs in the region.

The festival can be used to teach children to show filial piety to elders and give alms to the poor, said the official.

Misunderstandings among friends or conflicts between neighbors are forgotten on this day. Everyone starts on a new foot in a harmonious atmosphere, he said.

Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and other provinces also celebrated the festival.

During Ramadan, the ninth month of the year in the Moslem calendar, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. But children, elderly people and the weak do not have to observe the fast.

China has now 20 million Muslims, about half of them being from the Hui ethnic group.

Editor: Donald

By: Source: China View website
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