Belfast Mela

Belfast Mela

When

12pm-6pm, 30th August 2009

Where

Botanic Gardens

Immerse yourself in one of India's most colourful celebrations with this year's Belfast Mela. It's a showcase of music, dance, art and food, and this year will mark the city's third Mela festivities.

Asian Fashion Show
Melas originate from the Indian sub continent and sprang from traditional religious gatherings like Diwali and Eid. They are a celebration of the community's cultures, from the traditional to the contemporary, and the Belfast Mela is no different. This year the city's Mela will host its first Asian fashion show, with an ethnic mix of models showing off silk saris and salwars to the beat of contemporary Bollywood music.

World Food
Undoubtedly, given our love affair with Indian food, the food market and bazaar will be one of the highlights of the Belfast Mela. But it's not just Indian food that's on offer. There's traditional Irish fare, Caribbean soul food, French cuisine, as well as Chinese, Thai, Japanese and, of course, Indian. After you've munch your way around the world's menu, you can head over to the ethnic bazaar where you'll find clothing and accessories.

Greek Dancers
You can easily get your fill of music and culture at the Belfast Mela with several stages hosting everything from bhangra singers to traditional Greek dance. At the O2 stage you'll find Mona Singh who is one of the top bhangra singers in the country and has performed at all the major melas in the UK, as well as touring Europe, the US and Asia. The Desi Brave Hearts, a dance group made up of a mix of different ethnic backgrounds, will be performing their Bollywood-style routines. And to prove this is a truly international Mela, Glasgow Hellenic will be putting on a show of traditional Greek dances, all in traditional costume.

Henna Tattoos
There's a host of other activities you can take part in to get in the spirit of the Belfast Mela. You can take a very special tour of the Botanic Gardens in the Pedicab Rickshaw, have your face painted, or opt for some traditional henna tattooing. There'll also be craft workshops, walkabout street theatre and, if you don't want the party to end, you can head to the Bhangra After Party at The Merchant Hotel.

The Belfast Mela takes place at the Botanic Gardens from 12pm-6pm, 30th August 2009. Admission is free. The Bhangra After Party takes place from 9.30pm-12am. Tickets cost £5 in advance (from Ollies Club) or £7 on the door.

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