LONDON: Mosques across the United Kingdom following Saudi Arabia have declared that the holy month of Ramadan will commence nationwide on Thursday. The announcement comes as regional media reports that the oil-rich kingdom and most other Gulf nations will begin observing Ramadan on the same day.
Religious scholars have confirmed that Taraweeh prayers, a customary practice during Ramadan, will start on Wednesday night at UK mosques. Mosques have already been adorned with decorations ahead of the spiritual rejuvenation of Muslims during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.
This year, with Ramadan beginning on the same day throughout Britain, scholars anticipate that the Eid ul-Fitr festival, marking the end of the fasting month, will be celebrated nationwide on the same day.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, illuminated the first-ever Ramadan lights at Piccadilly Circus, a road junction in the City of Westminster, marking a historic moment for the city, the Guardian reported.
The installation, boasting 30,000 sustainable lights, represents the grandest and most extensive display of its kind ever seen in Europe.
For the month-long duration of Ramadan, the famous West End street will shine with bright, festive lights, in honour of the holy month.
The visionary initiative to establish this remarkable display was spearheaded by the non-profit organisation Ramadan Lights UK, which raised funds through public donations, galvanising support from people of diverse backgrounds.
As the community comes together to celebrate Ramadan, the lights serve as a symbol of unity and hope, bringing cheer and joy to people of all faiths, and representing a historic milestone in the city’s cultural landscape.
According to the Guardian, Aisha Desai, the organisation’s founder, said: “As a child, a trip into central London to see the festive lights was an annual treat. My sister and I would lie in the back of the car looking at the lights through the sunroof. It was magical.”