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Mosques refurbished to cater for Ramadan prayers

By MAO WEIHUA/CUI JIA | Updated: 2019-06-06 08:11

The Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, is celebrated at a halal food festival in Niujie Street in Beijing (left) and near the Liudaowan Mosque in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region (right), on Wednesday.

Local government improvements to mosques have made this year's Ramadan-the month of fasting and prayer-more comfortable for Muslims in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

"The condition of the road to the mosque has been improved, and the room for the cleansing session before each prayer has become more hygienic after its plumbing system was renovated," Yeziz Rejip, a religious leader at Liudaowan Mosque in the regional capital of Urumqi, said on Wednesday.

"The air-conditioned prayer hall has also made it much more comfortable for the followers to carry out prayers during this Ramadan."

Muslims from many ethnic groups around the region, including Uygur, Kazak, Uzbek and Hui, on Wednesday celebrated Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan.

As usual, people danced after their morning prayers in front of their local mosques to kick off the festival, which is also a public holiday in the region.
Shawutjan Abulimit has been going to the mosque five times a day during Ramadan.

"The room for the cleansing ritual used to be stinky before it was renovated. The smell bothered us a lot, especially during prayers," said Shawutjan, adding that the prayer hall has also become brighter after the lighting system was improved.

Arken Kadeer, 60, had to rush home after the morning prayer because his two daughters will join him at home to celebrate Eid al-Fitr with a family feast. "This year, the Eid al-Fitr is very close to the Dragon Boat Festival, so many of my Han Chinese friends have brought me traditional rice puddings as gifts," he said.

This year the Dragon Boat Festival falls on Friday so Dilnur Yeziz from Erdaoqiao area of Urumqi decided to invite her friends from different ethnic groups to her house to celebrate the two festivals together.

"I got up early to prepare the mutton soup to treat my friends. It's great that people can get together," Dilnur said.

In the past, people often had to prepare food and other things they need for Eid al-Fitr in advance, but Abudula Rehman said this year he bought everything his family needed from different shops on his way from the mosque to his house on Wednesday morning.

"There is no need to prepare for the Eid al-Fitr anymore because buying vegetables, meat and pastries have become so easy," Abudula said.

Many people have also decided to take the Eid al-Fitr and Dragon Boat Festival holidays to travel. The Urumqi railway bureau has launched 154 extra train services to destinations around Xinjiang to cope with the five-day travel rush.

"Thanks to the high-speed train, I can join my family for Eid al-Fitr celebrations in three hours," Aylima Rekem, a university student in Urumqi, said before boarding the train to eastern Xinjiang's Hami city.

Contact the writers at cuijia@chinadaily.com.cn

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