Today (January 27) is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK, and to observe the occasion and ensure that prejudice and discrimination will not be tolerated, many London landmarks will be illuminating in purple. As part of a national moment to #LightTheDarkness, buildings across town will be turning purple this evening – so if you’re out for your evening stroll, look to the skies for the illuminated tribute.
Holocaust Memorial Day falls on the date that, in 1945, Soviet soldiers liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, where 1.1 million people (90% of whom were Jewish) were murdered under Nazi rule. It’s been a nationally recognised day in the UK since 2001, and the theme is “be the light in the darkness”. This theme encourages us to identify the darkness of prejudice, hate, discrimination, and injustice, and to be the light that resists these.
Many of London’s landmarks will be turning purple this evening. Chief among the landmarks that are participating is the London Eye – where the iconic pods will be lit up in purple – and you can expect plenty of other London buildings to follow suit.
Last time around, more than 30 landmarks across the country, including the Houses of Parliament, Battersea Power Station and Sky Garden in London, and a further 2,000 billboards were also lit up, so we can expect something similar this time around. The Holocaust Memorial Day website encourages any building who wishes to take part, and also suggest that employees in workplaces to take part at the designated time of 4pm.
You can also take part at home. At 4pm, people are encouraged to safely place a candle in the window, both to remember those who were murdered, and to remind us to take a stand against prejudice today. Participants are encouraged to share a picture of their candles using the hashtag #LightTheDarkness on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
Also published on Medium.