27 August 2013

Loving Notting Hill Carnival!

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 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 salt fish), 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:

Waiting for the parade to start

Anyone can join it!

Great viewing spot

These kids were having such fun

Colours and feathers - and a head in the background

How heavy do you think this is?
Classic London routemaster bus getting in on the act

Cooking up a smokey BBQ
Even Dr Who dropped in with some famous enemies

This group weren't even in the parade, just turned up anyway

I said it gets busy....

There really is only one beer at carnival

Unusual window display in this butchers shop on Portobello

Beautifully made statue of The Pan Man

It can get very tiring

Great costume

A mime troop decide to  join in

Thumbs up from one of the parade floats

The happy face of carnival

 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 pick pocket 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 look out. Thankfully I have a spare camera so I'll still be out and about taking photos of London for you.

Bye for now

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