28 things that you need to know about Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

With Notting Hill Carnival getting underway this weekend in central London I thought I would give you some facts so you are all prepared to hit the West London streets. Feathers at the ready, get set go…….!

It is the second largest carnival in the world, following Rio De Janeiro Carnival

It is the largest street festival in Europe

Over 2 million people attend each year

9,000 police support the event in West London

There are over 40,000 volunteers that help out to make sure the festival runs smoothly

The carnival tradition has its distant roots in the eighteenth-century Trinidadian Canboulay processions

There are five different aspects of carnival: masquerade, soundsystems, steel pan bands, calypso and and soca

It contributes a massive £93million to Britain economy

In 1978 just over half a million people attended the 3 day event

80% of attendees are residents of the UK

They sell LOTS of Red Stripe and and of course Havana Rum

The first Carnival events were arranged as a demonstration of racial unity after the Notting Hill Race Riots of 1958

Another important influence was the unsolved murder of Kelso Cochrane, a young black Londoner, on Golborne Road in 1959

Notting Hill Carnival was inspired by a dream a lady called Laslett had about people of different races dancing in the streets together

The people in fancy dress are called ‘Mas bands’

There are over 15,000 fancy dress outfits on display each year

They spend all year getting ready for Carnival, spending hundreds of hours on every outfit

Their outfits are handmade and decorated with…

3million sequins, 15,000 feathers and 30 litres of body paint

They are inspired by African mythology

Mas camps use top Trinidadian designers and craftspeople to design and create each themed costume

The annual Panorama steel band competition has taken place on bank holiday Saturday every year since 1978

There are around 40 static soundsystems, ten steel pan bands and 70 performing stages

Monday is the wildest day, whilst Sunday is dedicated to families and children

The main parade is on Monday 25th and is 3.5km long

Over 300,000 litres of pineapple juice will be sold

And there are hundreds of street food stalls dotted across the site

A video of policemen skanking at the 2013 Carnival has almost 1 million YouTube views

If you are heading to carnival – have an amazing time!

You Might Also Like