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Business News/ News / World/  Ramadan lights illuminate London's Piccadilly Circus for first time ever
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Ramadan lights illuminate London's Piccadilly Circus for first time ever

March 24 will be the first day of Ramadan in India this year as the crescent moon has not been sighted here yet. Elsewhere in Pakistan and Saydi Arabia fasting to begin from Thursday onwards.

First ever Ramadan lights installation at Piccadilly Circus is pictured on the eve of the first day of Ramadan, in London, Britain, March 21 2023. (Reuters)Premium
First ever Ramadan lights installation at Piccadilly Circus is pictured on the eve of the first day of Ramadan, in London, Britain, March 21 2023. (Reuters)

For the first time, Ramadan lights illuminated London's Piccadilly Circus for the celebration of the Islamic holy month beginning. London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Tuesday switched on the lights, and it has become the first European city to put on such a display for the festival, according to a report published by the Mirror. 

Organized by Aisha Desai of Ramadan Lights UK in partnership with Heart of London Business Alliance, the display includes the installation of 30,000 sustainable lights which also feature the words “Happy Ramadan".

“I just had the ambition to do it like the Christmas lights. I remembered going to visit the Christmas lights with my sister when I was growing up and I also had an opportunity to live in the Middle East and I wanted to bring that joy and magic to London, the city that I'm from," Desai said as quoted by the Mirror. 

The organizer stated that she wanted to raise awareness about the Islamic holy month. “I wanted to raise that awareness as well to let our neighbors know that this is a really important month for us, it's my favorite month of the year and I'm just grateful that we're here today."

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, celebrated by Muslims with fervor and grandeur. It is a significant month for Muslims around the world, marked by hope and spiritual growth. 

During this period, Muslims pray, reflect, fast, and let go of worldly pleasures. They wake up early for Suhoor and then abstain from food and drink until sunset. Iftar, a meal that includes a variety of delicacies, is eaten after breaking the fast with dates and water.

Islam follows a lunar calendar, so the month begins a week and a half earlier each year, cycling through the seasons, including the long days of hot summers.

The start of the month depends on the sighting of the crescent moon by local religious authorities and astronomers, and can sometimes vary from country to country. But this year there was broad agreement that it began Wednesday evening, with Thursday declared as the first day of fasting.

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Published: 23 Mar 2023, 05:40 AM IST
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