THOUSANDS marched through the streets of Blackburn to celebrate the annual Milaad yesterday.

Crowds this year topped 3,000 attending the march which is to celebrate the Prophet Muhammad.

It is organised by volunteers who spend six months ensuring everything goes to plan. Homes across the area have been lit up by bright lights to celebrate the occasion.

The events have become increasingly popular over the past few years.

Mohammed Khalil, at the Raza Mosque said: “It went very well and we were extremely pleased with the turn-out.

“We were the first ones to celebrate it in the area and so it is something people make time for in the area. It gets more popular every year.”

The route of the march has been the same for nearly 20 years from the Madina Mosque on Oak Street along Whalley Range and across London Road before ending at the Masjid e Raza, Randal Street.

However, many other mosques in the town get involved, too.

In the lead-up to the Milaad, the Raza Mosque holds special evening classes dedicated to learning more about the ways of the prophet. The march ends with a meal at Randal Street.

A similar Milaad celebration will take place in the Audley area on Sunday, February 2.