The now annual Leicester Ramadhan Festival returns to the city for a fourth year. Running until 27 July at The Spinney on Frisby Road, organisers hope that 15,000 people will attend.The festival is in partnership with Human Appeal, a global charity that raises money to offer aid and assistance to disadvantaged people around the world including Gaza and Syria.
The festival which kicked off yesterday was officially inaugurated by the Right Honourable Lord Mayor Councillor John Thomas.
Leicester South MP Jon Ashworth who was fasting for the day was also in attendance and commented that, “Ramadhan is such an important time of year for so many people across Leicester and I’m really please the local community have put on this event, its fantastic to see that we are raising money here today with Human Appeal for the horrifying situation in Gaza and Palestine, so I’m delighted to support this event, and there’s lots going on here for all the family, so do come down, its really really good”
Speaking about his fast Jon said “I started off this morning at about midnight at Masjid Umar in Evington in my constituency for zohar, I’ll be finishing at a mosque on Keythorpe Street at around 9pm tonight for Iftar, and I’m really really touched as I always am, in the way in which the Muslim community here in Leicester have welcomed me and are supporting me in my fast today”
During the month of Ramadhan, Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset, and the event is open until midnight so that people will have the opportunity to collectively break their fasts.
Abdul Osman, Director of the Ramadhan Festival said “Eid is coming up, Leicester is a diverse city its the only city in country that celebrates a Ramadhan festival and we hope that it spreads in other parts of the country”
The festival has something for every age and faith with a children’s play area for young people to enjoy, Islamic art and Exhibitions, calligraphy talks, prayer facilities as well as a wide range of boutiques with between 50 and 60 stalls selling a variety of Middle Eastern and Eastern wares, from delicious cuisines, to hand-crafted Eid gifts such as Arabic perfumes , women designers wear, ranging from bags to shoes.