Published Date : Wednesday 26th August 2015
The Notting Hill Carnival is arguably the most famous street festival in Europe, and is definitely the largest. It all started in 1964, when members of the Afro-Caribbean community decided to celebrate their culture and heritage in the centre of London.
The first carnival helped to bring publicity to local band musicians who played Caribbean-style steel band music. The local residents came out into the streets to hear more of the music which reminded them of home. The festival atmosphere and dressing up tradition was all part of celebrating the abolition of the slave trade. The carnival goers now taking full advantage of their freedom, dressed up in a way mimicking the white slave traders with masks and dressing in bright coloured clothing similar to Europeans.
This year, in 2015, the festival begins on August 30th with Jouvert. This event runs from 6pm-9pm and involves smearing mud, oil or paint on participants, so can get a little messy. The children's and family day parades take part on this day starting from 10am until 8.30pm, allowing children of all ages in the area to get involved and participants to enjoy the official opening of the Carnival with the music and costumes of the carnival procession. Everyone can dress up, enjoy the music from the 38 music systems setup around the area and sample some of the great food on offer.
On the 31st August, Bank Holiday Monday, you can see the Monday Grand Finale of the carnival. This runs from 10am to 8:30pm, and you can expect some road disruption in the area during this time and throughout the whole weekend. The World Music Stage will be graced by visiting artists playing music such as Soca and Calypso as well as Calypsonians from Britain and other countries. Be amazed by the colours, sounds and dances which will be experienced on this day – the highlight of the carnival. Other activities will also be on offer, and attendees of the carnival often rush to taste the food and drink which is available to purchase throughout the day.
Public transport is expected to be very busy during the days of the carnival, and participants or attendees are advised to walk wherever possible. The routes will be clearly signposted, but most of the roads will be closed to vehicles until 3am on Tuesday morning. If you are planning to use the bus or train services, check the TfL and National Rail websites before travelling. You can also follow these on Twitter or Facebook to keep up to date with the latest travel information.
Visit the Official Carnival Website: http://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com
Follow Carnival 2015 on Twitter: @tLNHCarnival
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