Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Corban Festival - Feast

The Corban is a three day festival. In the morning of the first day, the men go the mosque to pray and celebrate. Women are not allowed there. The only women I saw around the mosque were vendors selling those skull caps (they are called topi, I believe).

Then they slaughter the sheep. And start visiting relatives and friends - a bit like the way the Han celebrate Chinese New Year. But they also give part of the meat to the poor - which is not a Han tradition.

In the afternoon of the Corban Festival, my friend took us to visit this elderly Hui gentleman, bearing a sheep’s leg as a gift - which costed him 85 reminbi. There the Hui gentleman’s wife and daughter brought us a continuous stream of food: salted tea, fried bread, steamed buns, stir-fried mutton with vegetables, fried eggs, stewed mutton with vegetables and potato starch cubes, different kinds of porridge, ... - as is their custom.

Then we went downstairs to watch people slaughter the sheep. While we were watching, a man waiting for his two sheep (each costing 750 reminbi) to be slaughtered invited us to visit his home. There we were served salted tea again, and some dried fruit. He wanted to give us more food, but we were just too full to eat. He has a 10 year old son who is in school. He also has a beautiful teen-ager daughter who is not (in school), presumably waiting to be married off.

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