UK’s calendar is full of annual festivals each having its own uniqueness. These festivals are attended by people all around the globe. One of the biggest festivals in England is The Notting Hill Festival. It represents the Caribbean culture and one can fully witness the beauty and history of the Caribbean land.
What is Notting Hill Carnival?
Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world’s biggest street festivals. Each year, people from all around the world gather in the streets of Notting Hill to celebrate the great Caribbean cultural heritage. This is a very colorful event full of laughter and excitement with lots of fun and food throughout the festival. It is equally joyful for adults and youngsters. Kids have their specific dance performances and parade throughout the festival.
Close to million people attend this extravaganza event. In 2006, United Kingdom voted to add this carnival to the list of icons of England. Notting hill carnival is not a part of global Carnival season Lent.
The Notting Hill Festival-History:
The Caribbean constitutes of many beautiful islands and is considered ideal to visit on a vacation. All the European countries wanted to have ownership of this beautiful piece of land. England took possession of St. Kiss, Barbados and many other islands in 17th century. It’s common for the Caribbean people to come and live in England.
The first Caribbean carnival took place in 1959 an after that, this event started to be organized every year as a symbol of celebration of Caribbean culture and heritage. Now, almost a million people attend this grand event.
Where and when it takes place?
This event is organized in the streets of Notting hill, in the Royal Borough of Kensington, Chelsea, and The City of Westminster. It is a two days festival comprising of the bank holiday in August on Monday and the preceding Sunday. So, it’s a carnival weekend in August which no one wants to skip whatsoever!
Event’s main programs:
Each year the event starts early in the morning with a traditional parade in the Caribbean’s Island called J’ouvert. It starts and ends on the Canal way in Ladbroke Grove W10. It comprises of revelers dressed in beautiful brightly colored outfits and painted faces. Other than this parade, there is a children’s parade in the daytime also. There are many kids inspiring floats in the parade and at night children dance and swirl their brilliant-colored clothes. So, the Sunday is ideal to enjoy if you are with family and kids. Live music performances continue throughout the day and night.
The event’s Grand Finale holds on Monday and is full of music, fun, street performances, steel drum music, Caribbean food, and finally The Notting Hill Grand Finale Parade. Throughout the carnival, you can have delightful and scrumptious food and drinks from the stalls arranged there.
How to get in the Carnival?
The Notting Hill Carnival is absolutely free! You do not have to buy tickets to get in. Just go and enjoy this street festival. This is the best part as you can just go there without prior booking and can accompany as many people as you like. Best way to go to the carnival is through the London public transport. Extra buses are enrooted to the carnival but you take the bus early as the route may be disrupted.
Tips to relish the event:
You must wear flat shoes which are comfortable enough to walk throughout the day. People are encouraged to show the Caribbean culture by wearing Caribbean dresses and jewelry. Fancy hats, whistles, and some extra things can be worn to look like a part of this street carnival.
Pack few things with you like sanitizer, sunglasses, moisturizer, sunblock, wet wipes, and water bottles. Keep the carnival map with you so that you can plan your day accordingly.