West End Gets Its First Ramadan Illuminations

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 13 months ago

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West End Gets Its First Ramadan Illuminations
Ramadan lights
The Ramadan lights can be seen on Coventry Street in the West End till 21 April.

The West End is enjoying its first official Ramadan street lights.

The Coventry Street illuminations were switched on by Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn — himself a Muslim — on 22 March, ahead of Ramadan — expected to begin in London on Thursday.

Said Khan: "I'm delighted that London is the first major European city to host a spectacular light display to mark Ramadan... a true symbol of how our capital celebrates our diversity."

Sadiq Khan posing in front of the lights
Mayor Sadiq Khan turned on the Ramadan lights.

Ramadan is a month-long time of fasting, reflection, prayer and charitable giving in the Muslim community. It begins with the sighting of a crescent moon, and ends with the sighting of the next one, culminating in Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Sweets).

The 30,000 LED bulbs create a canopy of moons, lanterns, and the motto: Happy Ramadan. They're energy-efficient and use fully-recyclable aluminium frames. They'll be in situ till 21 April.

The lights against a beautiful dusky sky

Aisha Desai, the founder of London's Ramadan lights, said: "As a child, I was captivated by the festive lights every year. As a proud Muslim and Londoner, I not only wanted to bring some of that magic to my community, I also wanted to break the barriers for other creative young Muslims."

Various Ramadan events are taking place across London during Ramadan month, including storytelling and iftars (fast-breaking meals eaten after sunset over Ramadan).

The Ramadan lights will be switched on every evening until 21 April 2023.

Last Updated 23 March 2023

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