By Abigail Opiah and Wendy Abiri
Islington is a hub of several religious groups who all celebrate the 5th of May in their own way for various reasons.
On Ascension Day or Holy Thursday (sometimes celebrated the following Sunday), Christians mark the 40th day after Easter by going to their local church services and having a feast to celebrate this special day.
The 5th of May for Christians commemorates the last day on Earth of the risen Christ, who ascended into heaven in the presence of many witnesses.
“We are big on interfaith cooperation and welcome people from all religious backgrounds to come and celebrate with us,” said Olanrewasu Johnson Balogun, 30, volunteer at St Mary Magdalene Church on Holloway Road.
“For Ascension Day we will be holding a special morning prayer at 8:30am and the main Ascension Day Service will be held in Holloway road at 7pm.”
Americans celebrate May 5th through “National Prayer Day”, where individuals can become ‘a person of prayer’ or simply donate to the National Day of Prayer task force online.
Muslims celebrate the 5th of May as ‘The Prophet’s Night Journey’. This festival celebrates the journey of Prophet Muhammad who received a command to pray five times a day, to mark the day Muslims must pray five-plus times and read the Qur’an.
For Jewish People the day is Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah), to commemorate the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. Jewish people light candles and special services are held in memory.
“Regardless of all events for different religions sharing the same date which is the 5th of May, there is a bigger picture, one that promotes unity, social justice and facilitating issues that impact the local community,” said Mustafa Field MBE, 35, Director of Faith Forum for London.
“Faith Forum for London has shifted from meeting for cups of tea and coffee to meaningful gathering to look at the bigger picture of having all faiths cooperate,” he said.
Local Places of Worship
St Mary Magdalene Church
The Holloway Mosque
152 Holloway Rd
Islington and Camden Mission Circuit
Archway Methodist Church
London N19 3TD
North London Buddhist Centre
72 Holloway Rd
Quaker Friends Meeting House
173 – 177 Euston Road