Nowruz Celebrations in China: Xinjiang Uyghur


April 1, 2009

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Nowruz Festival is a traditional holiday with a long history. In Xinjiang, all national minority believe in Islam celebrate the festival. The word came from Iranian, means “Spring Water“, equating to vernal equinox (4th solar term). It falls on March 22.

Before Uyghur national minority believed in Islamism, they worshiped many gods such as sun god, moon god, star god, water god, God of the Earth, fire god (stove god), ancestor god and so on.

In their mind, the star god was the main god who was in charge of one+s fortune. Among the gods Aries is one of the gods that blessed them, while Pisces brought mankind and animals diseases. Therefore Muslim began a celebration at the time when Pisces descended and Aries raised, i.e. Nowruz festival.

On that day, people of all ages get up at early morning and dress up. The head of the family lights some branches of firs and pines in the middle of the main room and whips the lighting twigs around the heads of his family members to wish them the very best of luck in the coming year. Then he puts it before the door of sock barn for domestic animals to stamp so that they will be plump and reproductive.

After sunrise, they cook a kind of porridge called “Keque” or “Chongkeque”. At noon, they begin to pay visits to each other. After sunset, they treat each other with nice dishes. Then they sing and dance to their heats+ content.

After the festival, spring ploughing begins.”

Original article source.