CELEBRATION OF EID UL-FITR BY MUSLIMS IN CHINA :

In the People’s Republic of China, out of 56 officially recognised ethnic groups, Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by at least 10 ethnic groups that are predominantly Muslim. These groups are said to total 18 million according to official statistics, but some observers say the actual number may be much higher. It is also a public holiday in China in certain regions, including two Province Prefecture Level regions, Ningxia and Xinjiang. All residents in these areas, regardless of religion, are entitled to either a one-day or three-day official holiday. Outside the Muslim-majority regions, only Muslims are entitled to a one-day holiday. In Xinjiang province, Eid al-Fitr is even celebrated by Han Chinese population during which holiday supplies of mutton, lamb and beef are distributed to households as part of welfare programme funded by government agencies, public and private institutions, and businesses.  In Yunnan, Muslim populations are spread throughout the region. On Eid al-Fitr, however, some devotees may travel to Sayyid ‘Ajjal‘s grave after their communal prayers. There, they will conduct readings from the Quran and clean the tomb, reminiscent of the historic annual Chinese Qingming festival, in which people go to their ancestors’ graves, sweep and clean the area and make food offerings. Finally the accomplishments of the Sayyid ‘Ajall will be related in story form, concluded by a special prayer service to honour the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed during the Panthay Rebellion, and the hundreds killed during the Cultural Revolution.

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