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Belfast Mela festival: Thousands descend on Botanic Gardens with splash of colour and noise

Belfast Mela festival: thousands flock to Botanic Gardens to celebrate diversity and culture Close

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Anna Wawro, Marzena Wawro, Monica Wiatr and Karolina Wiatr

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Anna Wawro, Marzena Wawro, Monica Wiatr and Karolina Wiatr

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Jen Firth and Claire Youdale from Strangford

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Jen Firth and Claire Youdale from Strangford

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Alison Bloomer and Christine Morrow

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Alison Bloomer and Christine Morrow

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Minister Carv°l Nv? Chuilv?n with New Lodge Arts Group from North Belfast performing on the World Stage.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Minister Carv°l Nv? Chuilv?n with New Lodge Arts Group from North Belfast performing on the World Stage.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Laura McLeana and Chris Weatherup from Belfast

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Laura McLeana and Chris Weatherup from Belfast

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Nalan Derecicegi and Michael Gordon

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Nalan Derecicegi and Michael Gordon

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Belfast Mela Festival

Belfast Mela Festival

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Minister Jonathan Bell

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Minister Jonathan Bell

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Julian Simmons

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Julian Simmons

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Muireann McMorrow and Joanne Hamilton from Sligo.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Muireann McMorrow and Joanne Hamilton from Sligo.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Laura McLeana and Chris Weatherup from Belfast

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Laura McLeana and Chris Weatherup from Belfast

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Joe Elshawihi and Erin McAuley from Belfast

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Joe Elshawihi and Erin McAuley from Belfast

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Jen Firth and Claire Youdale from Strangford

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Jen Firth and Claire Youdale from Strangford

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Minister Jonathan Bell

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Minister Jonathan Bell

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Jane Morris, Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon and Jennifer McCann

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Jane Morris, Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon and Jennifer McCann

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Carolyn Stewart and Julian Simmons.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Carolyn Stewart and Julian Simmons.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Minister Carl N Chuiln  and Nisha Tandon.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Minister Carl N Chuiln and Nisha Tandon.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
¬
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬
¬
A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬
¬
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! ¬ Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÄôs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.¬¬¬ ¬ A¬new addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.¬ ¬ World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÄôs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

Julian Simmons

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Julian Simmons

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

General view of the procession.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. General view of the procession.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

It's a Wonderful World At Mela!
Ê
Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ
Ê
AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê
Ê
World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent.

LORAG group from South Belfast take part in the parade.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. LORAG group from South Belfast take part in the parade.

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

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Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 24th August 2014 - Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye. It's a Wonderful World At Mela! Ê Mela magic cast its exotic spell over Botanic Gardens on Sunday when more than 20,000 people joined in Northern IrelandÕs largest celebration of diversity organised annually by ArtsEkta. Getting the global party off to a thrilling start was a spectacular procession of stunning processional sculptures including an extraordinary life size replica elephant surrounded by costumed dancers and accompanied by celebratory music from around the world.ÊÊÊ Ê AÊnew addition to this year's Mela Festival was the 'Fantasy Forest' where visitors journeyed through a mysterious and magical new arts experience as they travelled the globe in search of strange and fascinating characters and animals both exotic and rare.Ê Ê World music and dance filled the stages and brought the crowds to their feet in appreciation while the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the great big beautiful world combined to make this yearÕs Mela as memorable as it was magnificent. Anna Wawro, Marzena Wawro, Monica Wiatr and Karolina Wiatr

Belfast Mela returned to Botanic Gardens on Sunday with a bright splash of colour and noise.

There were long queues of all ages and nationalities to get into the gates from noon.

Belfast's eighth Mela started with a carnival type opening parade through the grounds of the south Belfast park including a life size model elephant, 16ft Chinese dragon, Dhol drummers and Bollywood dancers led by Lord Mayor Nichola Mallon.

The Great Lawn was packed as the crowds basking in sunshine took in performances from Irish dancers, and Bollywood Brass band and south Asian dancing.

A world food market included delicacies from 20 different nationalities while those seeking a more mellow atmosphere enjoued yoga and meditation in the World of Wellbeing tent.

Numbers of those who attended have not yet been finalised, but organisers believe even more attended than the 20,000 who came to the event last year.

Junior Ministers Jonathan Bell and Jennifer McCann were among those in attendance at the event organised by AtsEkta and praised it as the "real face of Belfast".

Mr Bell said: “Year after year the number of people coming to Botanic Gardens to enjoy and experience the pageantry, passion and panache of the Mela has increased.

"Today we are a city united, united in celebration and united in enthusiasm. This for me represents the real face of the people of Belfast. Friendly, welcoming, open armed and open hearted.

"This is a strong message to those responsible for racial attacks. This is the message I want the world to see."

Ms McCann added: "The vibrancy of the Mela represents all that is positive about our multi-cultural society.

"I want to see today’s spirit of friendliness and mutual respect become an everyday part of life here. We all want to see an end to racial inequalities, racism and hate crimes."

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