'Mela' originate from the Indian sub continent. The word Mela comes from the Sanskrit "to meet" and is related to the word "milana". It is commonly used to describe a large gathering of people celebrating artistic, religious or political events - a fair or a festival. In the same way that many fairs or holidays in Europe would begin on the feast days of saints. Mela's in south Asia have their origins in religious gatherings such as, Eid Vaisakhi or Diwali.
Celebrations form an immeasurably important part of the sub-continent's fabric. Melas are feasts of sights, smells, sounds and tastes and will often feature bazaars, folk troupes, traditional and contemporary and modern music and dance.
From the desert Mela's of Rajasthan to the Baisakhi Melas of Bangladesh, Mela's are held throughout South Asia. Audiences can vary in size with Newcastle Mela attracting 30,000 people every year.
The Mela is a free event, based around Punjabi, Pakistani, Bengali and Hindi and other South Asian cultures, and is open to anyone who wants to learn more, be entertained and meet new people as well as enjoy different music, art and food in the heart of Newcastle. With a line up including the hottest contemporary Asian acts as well as traditional displays of music and dance it's an event likely to appeal to all ages and races.
Taking place in Exhibition Park, the Mela promises to be weekend full of fun with music, games, stalls and exhibitions to help everyone have a great weekend! With a stage playing host to musicians and dancers, hundreds of stalls selling arts and crafts and food and drink and a children's programme to help the kids learn, make friends and have fun; there's plenty to do whatever your tastes.