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Lighting up South Belfast

Published: Fri, 18 Dec 2015
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Local residents came together for a multi-cultural lantern parade on the Ormeau Road in Belfast.
South Belfast was recently lit up when a multi-cultural lantern parade was staged.
All residents in the local community, and further afield, have been invited to participate in the Christmas Lantern Parade and Carol Service after a social media campaign.
The event, funded by the Housing Executive, aims to bring together people from all ethnic minority groups and religious backgrounds to strengthen community spirit.
Organiser Jeanette McMillan, from Annadale Haywood Residents Association, said:
“We have many diverse groups of ethnic minorities living in the Annadale area and we want everyone to feel welcome and for children to play together and parents to get to know each other.
“Christmas isn’t an event that everyone celebrates it may not be part of your religious beliefs, but we are saying, ‘come along and join in the celebrations with us’.
“The event is cross-community and we hope that people from the lower Ormeau and the neighbouring East Belfast community, will come along too. That’s why we picked as neutral a venue as possible, the local library. We’re slowly trying to build relationships across the bridge as well as with ethnic minority groups in the area.
“This is the second year we have organised the lantern parade and we hope that each year more people will come and community relations will grow. Next year we are getting a new community centre built in Annadale and we want it to be a place that is used by the whole community.”
Our Good Relations Officer, Emma Galway, said:
“The Housing Executive aims to develop shared areas where people choose to live with others, regardless of their religion or race, in a neighbourhood that is safe and welcoming to all.
“We are delighted to support the lantern parade which is a beautiful event that reaches out to every section of the community.”