Ramadan lights switched on in central London

Glittering display will be turned on every evening for about 30 nights until Eid Al Fitr in April

Mayor sets off display of Ramadan lights in London

Mayor sets off display of Ramadan lights in London
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London mayor Sadiq Khan switched on the British capital's lights to mark Ramadan on Thursday evening.

British actor Adil Ray and Rahima Aziz from the Aziz Foundation also attended the switching-on ceremony for the array of lights that adorn Coventry Street near Piccadilly Circus in central London.

They will be switched on every evening for about 30 nights until Eid Al Fitr in April.

This year's new light display features Islamic designs and illuminated signs wishing "Happy Ramadan" to passers-by.

Thursday's event marked the second year that central London has been lit by ornate lights for the Muslim holy month.

The project was founded by Aisha Desai and Ramadan Lights UK, with this year's lights organised and funded by the Aziz Foundation.

Ms Desai, founder of Ramadan Lights, feels the project has given British Muslims a sense of belonging.

“It is really powerful,” she said.

Many non-Muslims are becoming increasingly curious about Ramadan and what it involves, she added.

“It's spreading awareness in such a nice way through art and light installation," she said.

"It was the idea that came from me but I encourage Muslims and people from other faiths to continue on and do it."

Ramadan lights switched on in London - in pictures

Ms Desai has overseen the growth of the central London celebration from the humble beginnings of crowdfunding to a “Happy Ramadan” light installation in north London over the past four years.

Her concept has spread throughout Europe, with "an incredible group of women putting up lights up for the first time in Cologne", in Germany.

“There are also lights in Frankfurt and in Oslo outside the city hall," she added.

“This is what it is all about, getting other communities in other places involved so they can do it for themselves.

“The sky's the limit and you can do whatever you want to do as long as you put your mind to it and just go for it."

Ms Desai said the success of the event was “very unexpected, in a really beautiful way".

Updated: March 08, 2024, 8:59 AM