The Notting Hill Carnival in London will be this weekend!
If you are leaving for London or if you are already there this weekend and especially on Sunday and Monday you cannot miss the Notting Hill Carnival, which like all years takes place on the weekend of the Bank Holiday at the end of August.
The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest carnivals in the world with about a million people – some say it is two million and more – who participate every year. But what does it consist of? Can you think of Caribbean dances, costumed people, Latin American music and street food? That’s it! It’s a classic carnival, the only difference is that instead of being celebrated in February, it is celebrated in the middle of summer, in an even more lively and animated London than usual.
The first Carnival seems to have been celebrated in the 1959 at St. Pancras Town Hall to try to make peace between the communities in the area, which only the previous year had clashed over racial grounds. It was a woman who started this celebration, Claudia Jones, a Trinidad native activist, expelled from America for her ideas. However, it was in 1964 that the first real outdoor carnival was organized and also on this occasion the creator was a woman, the social worker Rhaune Laslett. She wanted to create a multi-ethnic community that could stand together, dance together. Since 1966, the Carnival has been held every year on the streets of Notting Hill, becoming more and more Caribbean and more and more popular over the years .
In recent years, it has suffered from negative publicity due to some problems created by people with too much alcohol in the body, but don’t be scared, it is still a beautiful party!
This year’s program is as always full of fashion shows, music and street food. The party will start on Saturday night with live music and street food but the real Carnival celebrations start on Sunday. Sunday is the day dedicated to families and children, with children parades and the prizegiving of the most beautiful costumes, as well as live music that you can enjoy for free.
On Monday, however, there will be the main parade, The Grand Finale, with dances, street performances and fun at every corner!
I went there several years ago, it was probably 2012, and what I remember are colors, music and food scents that I had never encountered before. I remember people smiling, costumed people dancing to Latin American rhythms and just a lot of people of all ethnicities celebrating together.
How to get there
The Carnival is located in the Notting Hill district, in particular along Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Grove, Westbourne Park and Kensal Road where crowds of people are taken over every year by the rhythm and the party mood. The nearest tube stations are Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park and Ladbroke Grove.
If crowded streets, people partying and music at all volume are your cup of tea, you can’t miss it!