I go to carnival every year and still love it just as much – the music, the parade with mad costumes, the food, the noise, the people watching, the colours, did I say the noise? Some residents of Notting Hill head for the country while others, like myself, make the most of one of the world’s best street carnivals coming to their doorstep.
Firstly the history bit: the roots of the Notting Hill carnival are way back in the Caribbean in the 19th century, particularly in Trinidad, when freed slaves wanted to celebrate the end of slavery and these traditions are carried forward into what we see now. Our carnival dates from the late 1950s/early 1960s when it started as a celebration of Afro-Caribbean cultures and traditions at a particularly difficult time for race relations. We have 2 women to thank for this amazing event – Claudia Jones and Rhaune Laslett. These days over 1.5 million people come to have a great time, watch the parade, enjoy the sound systems, eat the Caribbean food (mostly jerk chicken, goat curry, rice and peas and my favourite – ackee and saltfish), have a few drinks and dance!
The weather was great for both days and day one, which is the kids day was full of fun and families trying to navigate the crowds with double buggies – rather them than me! I’ve picked a selection of day one photos for you to enjoy:
I was hoping to bring you some brilliant photos from day two of carnival and had a whole set in the camera but unfortunately, I was the victim of a very sly pickpocket so the camera has gone! It’s the first time in 11 years of going to carnival that this has happened to me so however careful you think you are it can still happen and you need to be on your lookout. Thankfully I have a spare camera so I’ll still be out and about taking photos of London for you.<
Bye for now