THOUSANDS of people attended Eid celebrations in Trafalgar Square on Saturday which featured live music, children’s activities and food stalls.
It was the first Eid in the Square since 2019, after the 2020 and 2021 events were cancelled due to Covid.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said it was “wonderful” to be back celebrating Eid together again in London after “two bleak years”.
“It was lovely to welcome back diverse communities across London. We should celebrate our diversity. It’s wonderful to see Muslims and non-Muslims coming together to celebrate this most important festival for the religion of Islam in this fantastic square in London,” Khan said while addressing the crowd.
“It’s wonderful to see so many people here again after two awful years we’ve had. I want to begin by thanking every single Londoner of Muslim faith…for the things that you did during Covid, saving lives and saving our community and showing the very best of the religion of Islam.”
“This is one of the most famous squares in the world. I’m a firm believer that our diversity is a strength, not a weakness,” he added.
The event ran from noon until 6 pm and was hosted by award-winning actor and BBC Asian Network presenter Mistah Islah and broadcaster and author Mehreen Baig.
There were live performances by Baha Yetkin Sufi Ensemble, Nafees Ifran & Qalandar Qawwali Band, Dur Dur Band, Star Children’s Choir and spoken word poet Hussain Manawer.
Music producer Naughty Boy presented his Naughty Boy Kitchen pop-up serving signature dishes fusing his British upbringing and Pakistani heritage.
Family-friendly activities like calligraphy, storytelling, mehndi, face painting, drama and poetry workshops, and a variety of sports activities were also part of the event.
Long queues gathered in front of the festival’s many food stalls, with Naughty Boys’ Indian street food proving a particularly big hit, reported the Evening Standard.
Akram, 25, from west London said: “It’s very nice, it’s nice to have a community vibe,” he said. “I’m going to walk around and see the stalls and performers.”
Mohammed, 24, from Romford, east London, said he was surprised at how many people had turned up.