Ramadan 2024: London Mayor officially switches on festival lights, says ‘our diversity is a strength’

Categories News0 Comments

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan on Friday officially switched on this year’s Ramadan lights installation at Piccadilly Circus to start the celebrations.

He said that the great thing about Ramadan lights is that it gives Muslims Brits a sense of belonging. It sends a message ‘we are not simply tolerated but respected, embraced and celebrated. Also, not only Muslims, but even non-Muslims enjoy these lights. People come here and shop and that way the business around here also benefit largely during this time’


When is Ramadan?

The first day of fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in Mecca will be Monday, March 11 or Tuesday, March 12, depending on the sighting of the new moon. In India, Ramadan 2024 date is anticipated to start either on 11 or 12 March, depending on the sighting of the moon in Mecca.

The crescent-shaped Ramadan moon is first sighted in Saudi Arabia and then usually a day later in Southeast Asian countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

It is important to note that, in contrast to the rest of the world, which uses the solar or Georgian calendar, Islam uses the lunar, or Hijri, calendar, which has 354 days and is based on the phases of the moon cycle. Ramadan is observed ten or eleven days early each year.

In 2023, Crescent moon was sighted in India on 24 March.

Ramadan rituals and fasting

Muslims globally fast from dawn to sunset during Ramadan, with Suhoor before sunrise and Iftar after sunset. The latter’s timing varies daily, closely monitored due to sunset changes.

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims closely monitor the times of sunset. Because of the vast geographic variations in India, there are significant variations in the Iftar hours.