London’s first ever Ramadan lights have been switched-on in Piccadilly Circus by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
In collaboration with Heart of London Business Alliance, Ramadan Lights are bringing hanging street illuminations to the West End to celebrate the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, Ramadan. The display in the West End will be the first time that lights of this scale will be on display in the UK and in Europe. The lights will transform Coventry Street between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square from Wednesday 22nd March to Sunday 23rd April 2023.
For the entire month, Coventry Street will be illuminated by 30,000 lights forming 61 individual moons and lanterns and two gateway crossings – as a celebration for, and of, the community.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “I’m delighted that London is the first major European city to host a spectacular light display to mark Ramadan. Thanks to Ramadan Lights, for the first time ever the West End will be lit up by a fantastic display of 30,000 sustainable lights, a true symbol of how our capital celebrates our diversity. I would like to extend my warmest wishes to all Londoners and those around the world who are observing the holy month of Ramadan.”
The lights have been designed to capture this feeling of wonder, by depicting the night sky with illuminated moon and star symbols. Also featured in the design are lantern symbols, which are a nod to our shared cultural history as the tradition of illuminating streets with Ramadan lanterns is thought to date back to 16th century Egypt. Today it is common practice across the Muslim world.
In a drive to be more sustainable, the lights are made of energy-efficient LED light bulbs and fully recyclable aluminium frames. Any carbon created during the transport, installation and removal of the scheme will be offset.
Aisha Desai, Founder of Ramadan Lights, “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. I hope that by seeing Ramadan Lights line one of the most famous streets in London during the whole month of Ramadan, they will believe that anything is possible.”
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Rahima Aziz of the Aziz Foundation, “The Foundation is thrilled to support Ramadan Lights, a unique initiative that will create a festive ambience for the multicultural city of London. The lights will act as a beacon of solidarity, reminding us that Ramadan is a time of charity and community.”
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, “At Heart of London, we are proud to be transforming the West End with a Ramadan light display for the first time in its history. The West End has always had a proud tradition of openness towards people of all backgrounds and these lights are another reflection of its diversity.”
Zeiad Idris, Chair of Algbra X, “We are incredibly proud to support Aisha and her Ramadan Lights initiative again this year as a sponsor and working alongside co-sponsors Heart of London Business Alliance and the Aziz Foundation in order to bring the installation to life in the heart of central London. The lights are a truly iconic addition to this year’s Ramadan festivities and we are thrilled to be able share this moment with many individual donors from the community who have also contributed towards it.”
Ramadan Lights was made possible by many supporters. Particular thanks to the Aziz Foundation, which supports British Muslims in bringing positive change to their communities and beyond; to Heart of London Business Alliance for helping bring the lights to life, and to Algbra X which works to inspire communities to reach their full potential.