Kaizhai FestivalKaizhai Festival
Date: the beginning of the tenth month on the Islamic calendar
Place: Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinjiang and Gansu Provinces etc.
Activities: According to Islam, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is the fasting month of Ramadan. During this month, every Muslim must eat breakfast before sunrise, with no food or water allowed then until after sunset. After 29 or 30 days of fasting comes the traditional Kaizhai Festival on the first day of the tenth month on the Islamic calendar which lasts three days.
According to Islam, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar is the fasting month of Ramadan. During this month, every Muslim must eat breakfast before sunrise, with no food or water allowed then until after sunset. After 29 or 30 days of fasting comes the traditional Kaizhai Festival on the first day of the tenth month on the Islamic calendar which lasts three days.
On the first day, houses are cleaned in the early morning, and, after bathing, will go to mosques to prey toward Mekka (halidom of Islamism). No matter what kind of weather, a Muslims must perform this ritual. Visiting the graves of ancestors to mourn for them then follows. Traditional festival food is prepared along with rich and colorful activities such as the lion dance, wrestling etc.
Fast breaking is called Eid-al-Fitr in Arabic. It is in the beginning of October according to Islamic calendar and serves as the common festival celebrated by some Chinese minority nationalities, including Hui, Uygur, Kazakh, Ozbek, Tajik, Tartar, Kirgiz, Sala, Dongxiang and Baoan. Every September according to Islamic calendar is called Ramadan, which lasts for 29 or 30 days. During this period, Muslim people must finish their pre-fasting meal before sunrise and they are not allowed to eat or drink anything in the daytime no matter how hungry or thirsty they are. Meanwhile, smoking is also prohibited during Ramadan. In addition, all Muslim people are supposed to curb all their personal desires, including that of sexual intercourse, and practice abstinence during this time in order to show their allegiance to Allah. Children, elderly people and women who are undergoing menstruate are allowed not to practice fasting but they should limit their diet and must not eat or drink in public. Patients and those who are on their journey are also permitted not to conduct fasting, but they have to make up for it later; otherwise, they must hand in some property as punishment. In the evening when the bells in the mosques ring, people could suspend their fasting and begin to have their meal. During this period, even a hungry stranger passing by would be warmly welcomed in local households.
Grant and glamorous are the activities marking the festival of fast breaking and it is a common practice for Islamic people to whitewash their houses, clean up their yard, and have haircut and bath before the festival. Fast breaking is also the day favored by many young lovers to have their weddings.
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