Page last updated at 16:32 GMT, Saturday, 11 October 2008 17:32 UK

Trafalgar Square hosts Eid event

Eid celebrations in Trafalgar Square
Thousands turned out to celebrate the end of fasting

Thousands of people have attended an event in central London marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The third annual Eid in the Square was held in Trafalgar Square on Saturday from 1255 BST.

Organised by the mayor Boris Johnson and Muslim groups, the event featured Asian music, food and goods, and displays on Islam.

Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting observed by millions of Muslims across the world.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson told the crowd present he was proud of his Islamic heritage.

"You may or may not know this or believe it, but exactly 100 years ago, in 1908, my father's father's father came to south London.

"He was a Muslim and he knew the Koran off by heart in Arabic," he said.

It's so great to see so many people here - there is so much unity and togetherness
Rena Begum

"He would be absolutely amazed to discover that his great-grandson had become mayor of London. I am proud of that."

He also called for Londoners to follow the message of Eid, a time of unity and giving, in the wake of the financial crisis.

"I think in this city, now more than ever, we will need that spirit of communal responsibility to deal with the consequences of the financial crisis," he said.

Crowd at Eid event in Trafalgar Square
Boris Johnson told the crowd that his great-grandfather was a Muslim

Rena Begum, 35, of Tower Hamlets, east London, said: "London has come a long way in the last 20 years and is such an accepting place for everyone.

"It's so great to see so many people here - there is so much unity and togetherness."

Partners of the festival included the Muslim Council of Britain, Transport for London, Muslim Aid and Islamic Relief.




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