Tenth Mela is colourful celebration of music, dance, food and visual arts
THOUSANDS of people have celebrated the tenth Belfast Mela, enjoying a colourful programme of food, dance and street theatre.
Created in 2007 by ArtsEkta, it has since become established as a highlight in Belfast's festival line-up and is now Northern Ireland's largest multi-cultural festival.
Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning 'to meet'.
It is used in India for all sizes of gathering and can be religious, commercial, cultural or sports.
Although Melas traditionally have a strong south-Asian focus, ArtsEkta have adopted the concept with a unique multi-cultural focus with the festival promoting a large number of cultures through the arts.
It is an artistically led celebration of culture and creativity, inspired by local and international talent and celebrates identity through a programme of music, dance, food and visual arts.
The festival has grown in size with annual audiences increasing from 5,000 to 30,000 over five years.
This year's event on Sunday featured one of India's biggest music stars Raghu Dixit, along with Los Dramaticos, a pairing hailing from Northern Ireland and Chile.