The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s annual mega Eid / Bayram festival to celebrate the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan / Ramazan returns with another extravaganza in the heart of London on Saturday 29 April.
Now in its 18th year, this free one-day event welcomes Londoners and visitors to the capital’s iconic Trafalgar Square, where they will be treated to music, dance, halal street food, children’s entertainment and stalls that celebrate the capital’s diverse Muslim cultures.
Turks are represented this year through the Yunus Emre Institute, which will have a big stand on the North Terrace displaying traditional and contemporary elements of Turkish culture to see and buy.
The theme for this year’s festival supports the Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ‘Love for everyone’ campaign and focuses on family, education, and innovation, bringing communities, friends and families together to enjoy key celebrations in London’s cultural calendar.
The diverse line-up for the Main Stage, which is being hosted by comedian Ali Official and fashion model Mariah Idrissi, features rapper MoYah, The Khan Brothers Qawwali Group, Silk Road Collective plus RnB legend, FaceSoul.
Watch out too for the Colours of Eid Parade grand finale as a sea of stunning Eid costumes led by Dhol drummers walks through the Square.
This year Everyday Muslim brings its vital work documenting Muslim life across Britain to the Square. The organisation, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, will be presenting a photographic exhibition, audio histories and a chance to take part in their family heritage workshops. Muslim festival goers are invited to bring their own photos so they can be digitally scanned and stored in their archive, helping to share your family history with future generations.
Eid in the Square also welcomes Rumi’s Cave Open Mic, who will be entertaining us with a mixture of poetry, comedy and acoustic performances throughout the day.
After a month of fasting, the festival offers a feast of global food stalls for festival goers, including delicious Uzbek cuisine by Oshpaz, Indian street food from Mr Bombay, Venezuelan fayre from Pabellon, and Somali treats from Hooyo East.
The Square will also be buzzing with activities including WAW Creative Arts Kids Zone offering calligraphy, storytelling, drama and poetry workshops and performances.
There’s mehndi and face painting, plus interactive fencing sessions with Muslim Girls Fence. Don’t miss Shade 7’s ‘Journey through the Islamic Months’ storytelling sessions.
If you fancy learning some local history, then join Halal Tourism Britain on one of their free 20-minute bite-sized tours, ‘Muslim Stories of Trafalgar Square’, which runs hourly from 12:30pm – 5:30pm.
This year, the New Crescent Society will also be present, holding interactive workshops for those who want to learn how to sight the UK Eid moon.
Among the stalls participating this year are the Desi Doll Company, Islamic Art Prints, and London Muslim Health Network.
And, for the first time this year, Eid in the Square includes the Inspiring Muslim Awards, recognising and celebrating unsung heroes from London’s community who have been nominated by the public.
It’s a busy event – last year some 25,000 people attended – and while free, people should expect queues as there are searches at the entry points. Those attending are advised not to bring large bags.
Eid in the Square is developed in partnership with the Eid Community Advisory Group, which T-VINE editor Ipek Ozerim also sits on, and involves London-based arts, culture and grassroots Muslim organisations. This year’s event sponsors are Western Union and Eid Party.
Title: Eid in the Square
Date: Saturday 29 April 2023
Time: 12 midday until 6pm
Venue: Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London WC2N 5DN