Uighurs in Xinjiang, China celebrate first day of Aidilfitri with prayers, family gatherings

Muslims conducting Aidilfitri (known here as the Roza Festival) prayers at the Yanghang Mosque in Urumuqi, in Xinjiang, China on May 13, 2021.

URUMQI, China: Uighur Muslims here gathered at mosques to conduct prayers here on the first day of the month of Syawal.

At the 123-year-old Yanghang Mosque, worshippers were seen entering the mosque compound as early as 6.30am on Thursday (May 13).

They began prayers after singing the national anthem around 7am.

Mulla Mamat, 97, said he was going home to make preparations for the festival after prayers.

He said that his children and grandchildren would be visiting him.

Another worshipper, who declined to be named, said he would be heading to his uncle's house.

The 26-year-old mechanic said he had been celebrating the festival with his uncle every year since he first came here to work seven years ago.

"My uncle is the only family I have here," he said.

Urumqi is the provincial capital of the Xinjiang region in northwest China, where Uighur Muslims are the majority ethnic group.

Instead of Hari Raya, locals call it the Roza Festival.

However, Uighurs here celebrate Aidiladha or Korban on a larger scale compared to Aidilfitri.

They get a two-day public holiday on the Aidiladha festival compared to just one day on Aidilfitri.

The Yanghang Mosque, a major place of worship for Muslims in the city, is named after the street where it is located.

The name literally means "foreign companies", as the area was where foreign merchants used to gather in the past.

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Xinjiang , China , Aidilfitri , Roza festival , Uighur


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