Notting Hill Carnival History

Notting Hill Carnival History

Notting Hill Carnival is a fantastic and fun way for the entire family to spend the August Bank Holiday weekend but understanding Notting Hill Carnival history makes the event even more important.

How Notting Hill Carnival Came About
Notting Hill Carnival history states that the Carnival dates back to the Abolition of Slavery Act in 1833 and the first Caribbean carnival which was held in Trinidad. The carnival was a celebration of freedom which was expressed through song, dance and flamboyant costumes. This tradition continued as each year people took to the streets and as large numbers of West Indian immigrants travelled to the UK in the 1950s, this spectacular event established itself in London.

Evolution of the Notting Hill Carnival in London
The first carnival in London took place in 1959 and was held in a town hall in St. Pancras and the tradition of staging the carnival in town halls continued until it moved to Notting Hill in 1964. The event generally grew in stature as word about the Notting Hill Carnival spread and more London residents of all cultural backgrounds joined the celebrations.

Essence of the Notting Hill Carnival
The Notting Hill Carnival retains its Caribbean influences which are evident in the flamboyant and colourful costumes and the melodic calypso and soca music playing throughout the weekend. However, historically the Notting Hill Carnival has always highlighted the fact that the event is best loved for promoting tolerance amongst communities and this year the Notting Hill Carnival is embracing the message of Aspiring and Achieving In Unity.

Unique Musical Mix
In keeping with Notting Hill Carnival history, this year the event promises to repeat its own unique blend of music from West African drumming and steel bands to hip hop, salsa and house music, pageantry including costumed masquerade bands and floats, not forgetting live music stages and numerous sound systems guaranteeing the party atmosphere of the Notting Hill Carnival is alive and well throughout the streets of Notting Hill. Norman Jay Interview

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Content updated: 20/09/2014 00:53

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