Thousands flock to Tower Hamlets to enjoy colourful Bengali celebration

Credit: Tower Hamlets Council

Boishakhi Mela brings together local residents from all walks of life. Credit: Tower Hamlets Council

Thousands of people descended on Weavers Field on Sunday to attend the Boishakhi Mela Bengali Festival.

The colourful event, which has been running for almost 20 years, returned to the Brick Lane and Banglatown areas of Tower Hamlets, its original home.

An estimated 100,000 people from all over the country came to watch the main procession, listen to live music, take part in dance displays and enjoy delicious Bengali food.

John Biggs, executive mayor of Tower Hamlets, said: “Boishakhi Mela is a celebration of Bangla New Year and is now the largest Bengali festival outside Bangladesh. It represents the richness of Bengali culture and generates nostalgia for the many local residents who used to call Bangladesh their home.

“I am delighted that this year we returned the Mela to its original site where it was first established in 1997. This year visitors enjoyed a mix of traditional Bengali culture, modern music and family-friendly activity. It’s a day for everybody to come together to celebrate living in Tower Hamlets.”

Schoolchildren and members of local community organisations took part in the procession which opened the festival. They filled the streets with a mix of Bollywood, folk and street dance. Performers on the main stage included national and international acts playing Bengali music past and present.

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