happy ramadan sign

Sadiq Khan switches on Ramadan lights in London’s West End

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan switched on Ramadan lights in London’s West End for the first time to celebrate the holy month of Ramadan.

The first of its kind in Europe, Piccadilly Circus was illuminated by 30,000 sustainable lights with the message ‘Happy Ramadan’ last week to commemorate the beginning of the festivities.

Hundreds turned up for the ceremony to see Coventry Street lit up bright with 61 moons on Tuesday 21 March.

The mayor, who will also be observing Ramadan, said: “I’m delighted that London is the first major European city to host a spectacular light display to mark Ramadan.”

The iconic streets of Piccadilly Circus displayed glistening lights in the shapes of stars and crescents to depict the different phases of the moon throughout the month of Ramadan.

The grand display of lights was initiated by Ramadan Lights UK, a non-profit organisation supported by public donations in collaboration with Heart of London Business Alliance.

Founder Aisha Desai was inspired by Christmas light displays across the capital and campaigned to recreate that for Muslims living in London.

Aisha, 31, said: “I lived in the Middle East and Ramadan was my favourite month. It was the best time of the year – it was magical.

“It’s beautifully lit up. I wanted to bring that joy to London and bring that magic to London.”

Desai, from South Africa, was delighted to switch on the lights with the Mayor of London and described the ceremony as overwhelming and surreal.

The north London born organiser aims to go global with Ramadan Lights and plans to take it to Paris, Milan and New York.

Around 1.3 million Muslims across London embarked on 30 days of fasting from March 23, 2023 in daylight hours.

Ramadan is considered to be one of the holiest months for Muslims for spiritual growth and worship.

To mark the ninth month in the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims observing Ramadan will refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

The lights display will shine over London’s skyline every evening from 5pm-4am until the end of Ramadan.

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