Chinese Muslims Celebrate Festival of Fast-breaking

Some 1.8 million Muslims in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region visited 3,000 mosques throughout the region Thursday, December 28, to celebrate the end of Ramadan, their most important religious event.

Markets and shops in Yinchuan, the regional capital, were brimming with various commodities to mark the end of the fasting period. Muslim cadres and staffers enjoyed a one-day holiday, with Hui families inviting Han people to attend banquets.

According to Mao Rubai, secretary of the CPC Ningxia Hui Autonomous Regional Committee, the living conditions of Hui Muslims have changed dramatically since the founding of the autonomous region in 1958. The region's 2000 gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 9 percent more than the 1999 level, with thelocal export value hitting US$360 million.

The average per capita income of local farmers stood at 1,800 yuan, up 5 percent over the previous year, said Mao.

Over 10,000 Muslims in Beijing also attended the city's 68 mosques to celebrate their festival.

Beijing has 480,000 minority people, 3.84 percent of the municipality's total population. The population of 10 minorities who follow Islam, including the Hui and Uygur, stands at 250,000 in Beijing.

People's Daily Online ---