XINING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- After a month of fasting, hundreds of thousands of Muslims in northwest China's Qinghai Province went to mosques to celebrate the end of Ramadan on Saturday.
Ma Guoqing got up at 6 a.m., washed himself and cleaned his house for the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Ma, 57, a villager of Taerwan Village in the Hui-Tu Autonomous County of Datong in northwest China's Qinghai Province, donned his new festival outfits and joined over 4,200 others at the local mosque to welcome the first day of fast-breaking festival.
Due to different religious sects, Qinghai starts the festival on Saturday, while other Muslim-populated regions, including Xinjiang and Ningxia, will celebrate the festival on Sunday.
Ramadan is a festival of fasting and spiritual reflection. During Ramadan, the ninth month of the year on the Muslim calendar, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex from sunrise to sunset.
"This is one of the most sacred and honorable festivals for our Muslims," said Ma, taking off his shoes and laying a rug on the floor before turning toward Mecca to pray to Allah.
Meanwhile, in Dongguan Mosque, located in the provincial capital of Xining, more than 150,000 Muslims filed into the mosque to attend the fast-breaking service and hear imams preach.
After the service, worshippers will visit cemeteries to honor their deceased relatives in accordance with traditional customs.