Corban Festival of Hui Ethnic Group
Lesser Bairam, Corban and Shengji Festival are three most important festivals of Islam. The dates are respectively on October 1, December 10 and March 12 according to the calendar of Islam. Among them, Lesser Bairam is the most solemn.
“Lesser Bairam” is the free translation of Arabian “Erde Feitu’er” (transliteration), the Huis people in some regions abbreviate it as “Erde Festival”. Most of the Islamic nationalities in Xinjiang region call it as “the Festival of Fast-breaking”. According to the provision of Islam, the September of every year (by the Islamic calendar) is the Ramadan. During the Ramadan, they must fast. Except the old, weak, sick and disabled, pregnant women and children, all the Muslim must fast, which means, from daybreak to sunset, they cannot eat and drink, the smokers give up smoking transiently, and the husband and wife cannot sleep together.
Muslim believes, to fast for a month is one of the five practices (reading practice, ceremony practice, fasting practice, lesson practice and worshiping practice) that they must fulfill. It can train strong will, incorruptible behavior, the spirit of following law and the toughness of standing hardships, to taste hunger and thirst can help a person to cultivate the virtue of tolerance and generosity, and helping and loving each other. On the last day of Ramadan, the new moon (crescent moon) can be seen, and the fasting comes to an end, the next day is Lesser Bairam. On the day of festival, ceremonies will be held according to the custom, and people will gather together to exchange greetings. By the time, Muslim will firstly make “big cleaning” (showering), clean themselves and wear the best clothes, and hold ceremony with the leading of ahung, all the people say “seliangmu” (greeting words, which means “I wish Allah would grant peace and happiness to you”) to each other, then they say “seliangmu” to each other again, and take it as the greetings exchange.
The Ahung that chairs the mosque will preach the doctrine and scripture. According to the doctrines, on this day, all the Muslim must donate “festival kesan” (conventionally called as “feitu’er”, corresponding to the lowest living expenses of a day), or donate money to the “mietie box” (donation box) in the mosques, or help out the poor Muslim. After the celebration is finished, people can call on relatives and visit friends, have a good time in groups, and develop all kinds of other festival activities.