Turkish oud master Baha Yetkin to perform at Mayor of London’s Eid in the Square festival on Saturday

The Mayor of London’s annual mega Eid al-Fitr (Ramazan Bayramı) festival returns with a huge extravaganza at Trafalgar Square this Saturday, 7 May.

Now in its 17th year, Eid in in the Square showcases the very best of Islamic inspired art, music, and comedy on the main stage, alongside a feast of food stalls from across the Muslim world lining the Square.

The free family-friendly event will run from 12 midday until 6pm, and will be hosted by award-winning actor and BBC Asian Network presenter Mistah Islah and broadcaster and author Mehreen Baig.

Representing London’s Turkish community is the Baha Yetkin Sufi Ensemble, who are among the incredible array of traditional and contemporary music artists performing on the main stage on Saturday afternoon.

Baha Yetkin is a renowned oud player and composer whose music reflects the diverse cultural heritage of his Istanbul roots. His four-piece Sufi Ensemble takes its cue from Sufi devotional music and thirteenth century Sufi mystic Yunus Emre’s deeply evocative spiritual poetry that evokes divine love.

Others lined up for the main stage include Nafees Ifran & Qalandar Qawwali Band, the Dur Dur Band, Star Children’s Choir, and spoken word poet Hussain Manawer.

Award-winning music producer Naughty Boy will present his Naughty Boy Kitchen pop-up serving signature dishes fusing his British and Pakistani heritage.

Comedy sketch show favourites, ‘The Halalians’ will be live on stage, and Alif New Beginnings will be bringing colourful Eid carnival costumes to the Square.

There will also be a range of family-friendly activities including calligraphy, storytelling, mehndi, face painting, and drama and poetry workshops, as well as a variety of sports activities including Muslim Girls Fencing and Sisterhood FC.

Eid in the Square welcomes all Londoners and visitors. It will be the first Eid festival since 2019, after the two previous years’ events were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The festival’s return in 2022 was heralded with a unique addition. On Monday evening the London Eye, in partnership with Eid in the Square, reflected the start of the Muslim festivities with a special lunar-themed light display in the shape of a crescent moon. It was the first time the iconic London landmark has been illuminated as part of the capital’s Eid ul Fitr celebrations.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I’m so excited to be bringing Eid in the Square back to London after two years away. Celebrating the end of Ramadan with Londoners and visitors from all backgrounds demonstrates again how diversity is London’s greatest strength.

“We’ve got a fantastic line-up of entertainment for all the family to enjoy, showcasing the hugely positive cultural impact that Muslim communities have on our city and beyond. In London, we don’t just tolerate our diversity, we celebrate it.”

This year’s main sponsor is leading Muslim charity Islamic Relief UK. Its director Tufail Hussain said:

“Islamic Relief UK are delighted to be the proud partner of this year’s Eid in the Square. We look forward to seeing all communities in London coming together to celebrate this special occasion, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

“Families will gather together to enjoy food stalls, entertainment and fun activities and will also be able to support Islamic Relief UK with its life saving work across the world.

“We would especially like to thank the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and his office for organising what will be a very special and memorable event for all communities to enjoy.”

The event is also being supported by Wahed Invest and Lyca Media.

Festival Details

Title:     Eid in the Square

Date:    Saturday 7 May 2022

Time:    12 midday until 6pm

Venue: Trafalgar Square, Westminster, London, WC2N 5DN

Admission: free