Belfast Telegraph

A feast from the east at Belfast Mela

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd August 2018 - Pictured at the launch of the 12th Belfast Mela, together with Spar by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey in Babel Rooftop today were traditional dancers from the Chinese Dance Group NI. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd August 2018 - Pictured at the launch of the 12th Belfast Mela, together with Spar by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey in Babel Rooftop today were traditional dancers from the Chinese Dance Group NI. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd August 2018 - Pictured at the launch of the 12th Belfast Mela, together with Spar by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey in Babel Rooftop today were Bollywood Dancers Daliya Khadir and Dona Das Gupta. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
A dancer during the opening parade at Mela
ArtsEkta’s Nisha Tandon with Julian Simmons
Belfast Lord Mayor Deirdre Hargey

By Staff Reporter

Botanic Park in south Belfast was a sea of colour yesterday for the city's annual Mela.

Northern Ireland's biggest celebration of cultural diversity saw thousands of visitors experience exotic sights, smells and sounds from around the world.

The traditional Mela Festival got under way with a colourful procession weaving its way through Botanic Gardens to the 'World Stage'.

The parade through the rain included specially commissioned carnival creations, lively Dhol drumming, Bollywood dancers, community groups, plus a 16ft Chinese dragon and some larger than life Rajasthani puppets.

The celebrations were launched on Saturday evening with the sell-out event 'Spellbound' event, a spectacular show featuring shadow play with actors and traditional puppets, as well as dance and pyrotechnics plus a myriad of special effects.

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