Chi­ne­seMus­lims ob­serve 4-day feast

Re­cep­tion was held to mark fes­ti­val; be­liev­ers gather for prayer ses­sions

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By XUWEI in Bei­jing and MAOWEIHUA in Urumqi Con­tact the writ­ers at xuwei@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Mus­lims across China cel­e­brated one of Is­lam’s big­gest hol­i­days on Mon­day as they gath­ered to pray and sac­ri­fice ha­lal do­mes­tic an­i­mals in ac­cor­dance with re­li­gious di­etary laws.

The Eid al-Adha Fes­ti­val, or the Feast of Sac­ri­fice, is one of the most sig­nif­i­cant dates on the cal­en­dar forMus­lims. It is marked by wear­ing new clothes, tak­ing part in morn­ing prayers and sacri­fic­ing sheep or cat­tle.

The Is­lamic As­so­ci­a­tion of China held a re­cep­tion in Bei­jing on Mon­day evening, invit­ing State dig­ni­taries, in­clud­ing Vice-Premier Liu Yan­dong; Sun Chun­lan, head of the United Front Work Depart­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee; and en­voys from some Is­lamic coun­tries.

Chen Guangyuan, pres­i­dent of the as­so­ci­a­tion, ad­dressed the cel­e­bra­tion by ex­tend­ing his greet­ings to Mus­lims glob­ally.

In Bei­jing, where au­thor­i­ties es­ti­mate that there are at least 260,000 Mus­lim res­i­dents, thou­sands of be­liev­ers gath­ered at the Ni­u­jieMosque to per­form morn­ing prayers onMon­day.

“It is also a time of show­ing loy­alty to your coun­try and Al­lah, and show­ing fil­ial piety to your par­ents,” said Su Quan­ren, a 42-year-old Hui res­i­dent in Bei­jing.

Su, a mi­grant worker from Lanzhou, Gansu province, said he would have been cel­e­brat­ing the fes­ti­val with his fam­ily if he were in Lanzhou.

“Even though I am alone here in Bei­jing, I take part in the prayers to­gether with my friends,” he said.

The Ni­u­jie area, a neigh­bor­hood largely in­hab­ited by Hui peo­ple in the cap­i­tal’s Xicheng dis­trict, has Bei­jing’s largest con­cen­tra­tion ofMus­lims.

Nur Syafika Mohd Rasid, a 19-year-old over­seas stu­dent from Malaysia who is study­ing Man­darin at Bei­jing For­eign Stud­ies Uni­ver­sity, said she de­cided to come to the mosque for the Eid al-Adha, as it is one of the old­est mosques in Bei­jing and she can meet oth­erMus­lims there for the cel­e­bra­tion.

“It unites us. We meet dif­fer­ent peo­ple, dif­fer­ent cul­tures and dif­fer­ent lan­guages, of course. That is in­ter­est­ing.”

The fes­ti­val is also cel­e­brated widely in the Xin­jiang Uygur au­tonomous re­gion.

Ma­mat Xerip, a 78-year-old res­i­dent of Urumqi, said all male adult Mus­lims would take part in the morn­ing prayer ses­sions at the mosques.

“The fes­ti­val is also an oc­ca­sion to re­mem­ber and mourn your dead rel­a­tives,” he said.

Eid al-Adha is an im­por­tant four-day re­li­gious hol­i­day ob­served by Mus­lims. It marks the end of theHajj, the an­nual pil­grim­age toMecca.

China has more than 20 mil­lion Mus­lims, who mainly live in the western prov­inces of Qing­hai, Gansu and Yun­nan, and in the Xin­jiang Uygur and Ningxia Hui au­tonomous re­gions.

ZOU HONG / CHINA DAILY ZHANG WANDE / FOR CHINA DAILY

Peo­ple at­tend the Eid al-Adha Fes­ti­val at Bei­jing’s Ni­u­jie Mosque on Mon­day. The fes­ti­val is one of the most im­por­tant dates on the cal­en­dar for Mus­lims. A res­i­dent of Urumqi, cap­i­tal of the Xin­jiang Uygur au­tonomous re­gion, in­vites a vis­i­tor to try mut­ton dur­ing the Eid al-Adha Fes­ti­val on Mon­day.

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