Huge splash of colour as thousands watch Mela Festival parade in Belfast


A huge celebration took place in Belfast city centre at the weekend as thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate the Mela Festival.

The carnival marked the start of the festival in the city, which will see a week of events culminating in the annual Mela day celebration on Sunday, August 27.

The carnival, on Saturday, August 19, featured floats accompanied by dancers and musicians, with many carrying flags and wearing cultural outfits. Smoke flares were set off as drummers played outside City Hall.

The parade was led by the Lord Mayor of Belfast Ryan Murphy and Belfast Mela founder Nisha Tandon.

A global village at City Hall hosted arts workshops, music and food.

Belfast Mela is one of Northern Ireland’s largest arts festivals, bringing together music, dance, arts and food from across the world to celebrate the city’s proud cultural diversity.

The Mela Festival finishes at Botanic Gardens on August 27 for a festival finale of music, dance, food and art

Dr Nisha Tandon, the founder of Belfast Mela and director of ArtsEkta, said: “We are so proud to have been working with hundreds of artists and thousands of participants to produce this year’s nine-day Belfast Mela Festival.