Fri, September 10, 2010
China > Mainland

Chinese Muslims celebrate fast-breaking festival

2010-09-10 05:46:23 GMT2010-09-10 13:46:23 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Chinese muslims pray in a mosque in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 10, 2010 to celebrate Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, the fasting month in the Islamic calender. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)

An Iranian girl prays in a mosque in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 10, 2010 to celebrate Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, the fasting month in the Islamic calender. (Xinhua/Guo Xulei)

Women muslims pray in a mosque in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 10, 2010 to celebrate Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, the fasting month in the Islamic calender. (Xinhua/Guo Xulei)

Some foreign muslims come to a mosque in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 10, 2010 to celebrate Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, the fasting month in the Islamic calender. (Xinhua/Luo Xiaoguang)

Women muslims pray in a mosque in Beijing, capital of China, Sept. 10, 2010 to celebrate Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan, the fasting month in the Islamic calender. (Xinhua/Guo Xulei)

Muslims attend an Eid al-Fitr prayer session in a worship hall of the Niujie Mosque in Beijing September 10, 2010. (REUTERS/Jason Lee)

BEIJING, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Millions of Muslims across China celebrated Eid al-Fitr Friday, the festival that signals the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan -- a season of fasting and spiritual reflection.

Early Friday, Muslims of different ethnic groups in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, as well as in other Muslim-populated regions, donned festive costumes and swarmed mosques to hear preaching given by imams.

During Ramadan, the ninth month of the year in the Muslim calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset. Children, the elderly and the weak do not have to fast.

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

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