My first experience of the famous London carnival
A glimpse of a fabulous carnival costume.
The carnival is for all ages. The older generation as well as the younger generation know how to live it up!
Raving it up at the carnival.
If someone asked me to describe Notting Hill Carnival before I first went yesterday then I would have described it as a carnival with lots of colourful costumes awash with dancing and Caribbean food. It is also an event that attracts the young crowds of London.
I was not wrong. There were lots of spectacular, colourful costumes and heaps of jerk chicken. But what I was not anticipating was the numerous street parties happening alongside the carnival and the general party / celebratory atmosphere. Whilst the carnival proceeded through the streets of Notting Hill on an array of floats, there were street parties happening down side roads which I could have easily missed if I hadn't of strayed down some side streets.
A notable street party was one run by a DJ called King Tubby who shouted out 'UNITY' several times to an excited and bustling crowd. There's no mistaking that the carnival is essentially about unity, indeed it is about the unity of a community. Notting Hill Carnival brings people together to celebrate a London togetherness and the diversity of the London community.
All kinds of people from different ethnic backgrounds and different ages were at the carnival celebrating. There was definitely a feeling of acceptance, an inclusion of anybody and everybody. That is what is so great about Notting Hill Carnival, it gives everyone a sense of belonging. People of all nationalities were dancing together in the streets, toasting to how great London and all the people are.
A 'NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL GUIDE' advised that 'If you don't know what to do, just act as un-English as possible'. This led me to wonder how it was possible for English people to detach themselves from the British reserve when we were in Britain after all. But I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to leave the British reserve at home and step into carnival mode. It's nothing that a pint of rum punch and can of strongbow's can't help!
Getting into the carnival spirit is so easy to do for EVERYONE. Whether it's by walking with the carnival or dancing to the loud music it can be done. I personally adorned my cheeks with glitter which helped me to get into the carnival spirit.
Notting Hill Carnival is a FUN carnival for everyone with plentiful barbecued food, rum punch on tap, vibrant costumes and an energetic atmosphere. It's not to be missed, and it was so good that I am already excited for next year!