This August bank holiday weekend marks the 48th Notting Hill Carnival – a cornucopia of cultural delights spanning two days in vibrant West London. The Carnival is a microcosm of everything special about London, namely great music, tantalising food and a great sense of fun.
The roots of the Carnival are steeped in history, with influences linked to Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century, which were created to celebrate the abolition of slavery and the slave trade. The current Notting Hill Carnival format which originated in 1964, was founded as a way for Afro-Caribbean residents of the area to celebrate their culture and traditions, but has since blossomed into a multi-cultural event attracting upwards of one million visitors each year.
The Carnival is formed around a traditional parade which winds its way along Ladbroke Grove, straddled by numerous sound systems and individual street parties along the way, catering for a range of musical tastes spanning reggae, dub, roots and drum and bass.
Things we love:
• A sensory busting array of traditional Caribbean food stalls, including jerk chicken (pictured below), curried goat, fried plantain and a variety of other tasty treats.
• Impromptu street dancing to music blasted from a local residents garden sound system.
• A sea of colourful face paints, flags and costumes crafted with care, solely for the festival.
• For two days, much of Notting Hill is boarded up and taken over by red stripe wielding revellers.
The main carnival parade starts on Sunday 26th August – also known as children’s day, with parades running from 9am – 7pm. On Monday 27th, the festivities continue for a day of music and street parties.