Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Mela brings explosion of colour to Belfast's Botanic Gardens

The colourful Mela festival burst into life in Belfast over the weekend, writes Maria Marsella

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland Ê- 25th August 2013

General view of the thousands of people celebrating this year's Mela in Botanic Gardens.

Organised by ArtsEkta, the Mela celebrates culture and creativity and is a show case of food, music, dance and arts from across the globe.
Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Thousands of people celebrating this year's Mela in Botanic Gardens. Press Eye - Belfast

The Botanic Gardens in Belfast hosted to the Mela; an celebration of arts, culture and heritage from around the world. The gardens were packed with thousands of people relaxing on the grass enjoying the food, ice cream, jewellery and other exotic items, as well as live entertainment from Irish dancers to a Balkan group who played at Glastonbury.

Michael Boyd from Belfast, who works in community relations, said: "It shows a really positive side to Belfast."

Stallholder Paul Taggart added: "It's nice to see so many people from all over the world in one place."

Some people, like Emma Cairns from Belfast, got henna tattoos done. "I love the multi-cultural aspect; you get to see a lot of cultures that you wouldn't see every day," she said.

Junior minister Jennifer McCann said: "Mela is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through collaboration and mutual respect."

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