'Happy Ramadan' lights at London's Piccadilly Circus for first time

  • ITV London reports from Picadilly Circus as lights to celebrate Ramadan are switched on for the first time tonight (21 March)

Part of London's West End was decked out for the first time tonight with lights to celebrate the start of Ramadan.

The illuminating idea is run by the non-profit organisation Ramadan Lights UK who previously took the lights to Henlys Corner and Trafalgar Square.

On Tuesday night the focus was on Coventry Street which links Piccadilly and Leicester Square.

Aisha Desai, who started the campaign three years ago said she was inspired to launch her bid for Ramadan lights after seeing the "magical" Christmas lights in the capital.

She 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.

"As a proud Muslim, I wanted to bring some of that magic to my community. And three years ago that journey began."

Aisha Desai began her campaign to have lights for Ramadan three years ago Credit: ITV London

She added: "With all of your support, we have gone from strength to strength. This year we are looking to take it even further!

"We would love as many people as possible to join us on our journey."

When asked about how it feels to see the Ramadan lights in the West End, Ms Desai said: "It’s overwhelming, but I am really proud that it’s in the heart of London, in Piccadilly - one of the most iconic places in the world - and I couldn’t thank the community enough.

"I can't thank them for their support enough.”

The Ramadan lights in the West End Credit: ITV London

She said that the impact of this momentous event means so much to her and the Muslim community.

Ms Desai added: "The impact is huge - it represents our faith, our holy month which is so important for Muslims in this country. 

"There are so many of us here and it’s so important to represent that and in such a nice positive way.

"It’s really important and the response has been so nice and amazing. It’s gone global.”

Now, she has made such an impressive and momentous impact, she is planning to rest and relax for the holy month.

She intends to spend her Ramadan taking a little break, fasting, spending time with her family and taking time to reflect - as well as "eating lots of food when the fast breaks".

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