Published Sunday, 25 August 2013
Organised by ArtsEkta, the Mela celebrates culture and creativity and is a showcase of food, music, dance and arts from across the globe.
This was the seventh year of the event, but for the first time it spanned two days with a curtain raising show featuring shadow play, dance and pyrotechnics on the first night and a parade led by the city's Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir on Sunday.
The parade included carnival creations, lively dhol drumming, Bollywood Dancers, community groups plus a 16ft Chinese Dragon and some larger than life Rajasthani puppets.
Visitors were able to soak up the live music and enjoy some August sunshine.
Mukesh Sharma, Chairman of ArtsEkta, said: "Once again thousands of visitors flocked to Botanic Gardens to experience one of Ireland's largest multi cultural events which offered a fun filled and fantastic celebration of ethnic culture and creativity for all the family."
Organisers say this year's Mela was bigger and better than ever, meaning next year's celebrations have a lot to live up to.
UTV's Paul Reilly
Speaking at the event DUP Junior Minister Jonathan Bell said: "I am delighted we were able to support the Mela once again. As a firm favourite and fixture in Belfast, it continues to create more energy and optimism with every passing year."
Mr Bell said the Mela showed Belfast is "a city of diversity, a city of welcome and one that knows how to celebrate".
"Long may it continue to inspire us to share and celebrate the joy of living together in a land of genuine opportunity which many people from around the world call home," he said.
Sinn Féin Junior Minister Jennifer McCann said: "The Executive is committed to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society. Mela is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through collaboration and mutual respect.
"I welcome the fact that the thousands of people who come here to celebrate the Mela are drawn from every section of our shared community."
Sunday's event at Botanic Gardens were hosted by UTV's Sarah Travers and Marc Mallett.
© UTV News