Sheffield festival dazzles in drizzle to welcome in new year

The lack of sunny weather didn't stop these girls having a good time
The lack of sunny weather didn't stop these girls having a good time

Thousands of visitors said Pohela Boishakh to the Bengali new year in typical technicolour fashion in Sheffield.

The biggest and brightest festival of its kind in the city, the Baishakhi Mela festival, held in High Hazels Park, Darnall, managed to outshine the drizzle.

Organiser Mothiu Rahman, aged 41, said: “I wasn’t expecting that many because of the weather, but by half past two the sun was shining and the park filled out.”

To celebrate in style there was henna body paint, jewellery and clothes stalls to get the Bangla look.

There was also plenty of traditional cuisine, while children were catered for with fair rides and face painting.

Live music from singers who had flown over from Bangladesh added to the authentic feel.

Most of the revellers were in traditional dress and ready to get into the festival mood.

Mothiu started the event five years ago, when people in the area did not have time to travel to London for the largest Baishaki Mela outside Asia.

So he brought the festival to them and as a Darnall resident, brought together the community.

He said he gets a lot of support and help from the area.

When sponsors pulled out at late notice this year, Mothiu and his helpers had to rearrange most of the event in only three weeks.

He said: “We had really good feedback saying we’d done a good job.”