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Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.4.05.9901211950530.22272-100000@uhunix3>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 19:59:10 -1000
Sender: Southeast Asia Discussion List <SEASIA-L@LIST.MSU.EDU>
From: Vincent K Pollard <pollard@HAWAII.EDU>
Subject: end of Ramadan <fwd>

Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 19:38:17 -1000
From: CND-Global Editors <cnd-editor@cnd.org>

Millions of Chinese Moslems Celebrate End of Holy Month Ramadan

From China News Digest, No.GL99-010, Friday 22 January 1999

[CND, 01/20/99] Most of China's 17 million Moslems celebrated the end of the holy month of Ramadan Tuesday with prayers and feasts, both the China Daily and AFP reported.

At the Dongsi Mosque in downtown Beijing, shoes, sneakers, boots and other footwear lined up in front of a hall while 500-600 owners were inside listening attentively to recitations of the Koran by an Iranian professional Koran reader who traveled to China for this special occasion.

In Beijing's oldest Mosque, the 1000-year-old Niujie Mosque, 2,000 Moslems gathered to attend the services of the day. Many people braved freezing temperatures for the 6 o'clock service in early morning. Food vendors and market stall holders set up shop waiting for the Eid al-Fitr celebrations to begin.

According to TIE Guoxi, imam of the Dongsi Mosque, 250,000 Moslems in Beijing had their choice of 68 mosques for attending the celebration services.

In the main Moslem regions such as Xinjiang, Gansu, and Ningxia, markets and shops were brimming over with food and drink to celebrate the end of Ramadan. In the State-owned units Moslems enjoy a one-day holiday—Eid al-Fitr—the first day after Ramadan.

Islam was first introduced into China by Arabian and Persian businessmen during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). Ramadan is the ninth month of the Moslem year, a time when Moslems fast and abstain from other practices during the day. (Shiji SHEN, WU Yiyi, YIN De An)