London lights up for Ramadan for the first time ever – Middle East Monitor

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For the first time ever, central London’s iconic West End has been decorated to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to begin on Wednesday, until the sighting of the new moon.

London’s Coventry Street, which connects two of the city’s busiest squares – Piccadilly and Leicester Square is lit up with the message “Happy Ramadan” along with lights displaying crescent moons and stars and traditional lanterns known as stay commonly used to decorate streets throughout the Middle East for the month of fasting, especially in Egypt where they are thought to have originated.

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The West End is already a popular shopping and tourist destination and during Ramadan it is not uncommon to see a surge of wealthy Gulf tourists during the fasting month, referred to by the British media as the “Ramadan Rush”. London also has the highest concentration of Muslims, with 15 percent of Londoners describing themselves as Muslim.

The historic decorations come days after the Royal Mint, the UK’s oldest company and official coin maker, announced it had issued a gold-mint bullion, depicting the Kaaba at Islam’s holiest site in Makkah.

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