By Ninder Kaur
Thousands gathered at Trafalgar Square last weekend to celebrate Eid, This year marked the 10th anniversary of the free event as thousands of Londoners and visitors headed to the square, where they had have the opportunity to sample music and food from around the world, alongside a variety of special activities.
Organised by the Mayor of London, with support from Lebara Mobile, Zee TV and the Embassy of the State of Qatar, the Eid Festival welcomed people from all communities and faiths, with an array of entertainment and attractions for the whole family to enjoy, including live music and performance, arts and crafts, exhibitions, calligraphy, henna, face painting and more.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘As Muslims around the world break the fast following Ramadan, the Eid Festival brings together people from all communities for a wonderful celebration in the heart of the capital. The 10th anniversary makes it even more special and I urge Londoners and tourists alike to come down to Trafalgar Square to experience the many flavours, colours and culture of Islamic world. Eid Mubarak!’
The Eid Festival featured international food, with delicious cuisines from around the world, including Turkish, Egyptian, Indonesian, Lebanese and Moroccan. There was also a bazaar with clothing, jewellery, arts and crafts, books and Halal sweets.
For the first time, the Embassy of the State of Qatar offered visitors a chance to experience the country’s culture, including a special exhibition about the history of pearl diving, which was one of the ancient trades and oldest professions in the Gulf region during the pre-oil era. In addition visitors has the opportunity to be photographed with a falcon, Qatar’s national bird. Also on offer was Qatari cuisine, Arabic coffee and dates, plus calligraphy and opportunities to try on traditional Qatari dress.
Other highlights included a catwalk show featuring designers from around the world showcasing modern Abayas and traditional and modern outfits.