Every year at the end of August millions come from all corners of the world to take part in Notting Hill Carnival. 

The London-based festival takes place over the August bank holiday weekend and has become a massive event since its start in 1966. 

The once small local street festive is now a crowd pleasure, closing roads and seeing residential areas become the number one party zone.

Some go to Notting Hill Carnival every year to enjoy the festivities whilst others make a trip of a lifetime to witness the amazing carnival. 

Ilford Recorder: Performers during the children’s parade on Family Day at the Notting Hill Carnival in London.Performers during the children’s parade on Family Day at the Notting Hill Carnival in London. (Image: (Victoria Jones/PA))

What is Notting Hill Carnival?

Notting Hill Carnival is an annual street festival that celebrates the culture, arts and heritage of Caribbean people. 

According to History of London, the festival can be traced back to the slave trade in which the Caribbean culture was closely tied with the "pre-Lenten festival of Mardi Gras and the masquerade balls held by the French plantation owners".

The balls saw landowners and their families enjoy the celebrations whilst those enslaved were forbidden from getting involved.

Following emancipation, the public of the Caribbean began their traditions based on the masquerades and traditional African tribal dance and music.

The History of Notting Hill Carnival

The first Notting Hill Carnival took place in London in 1966 and is said to have been created by Trinidadian human rights activist Claudia Jones whilst social worker and activist Rhaune Leslett organised the event. 

Leslett shared that he wanted to create an outdoor space for children and the local West Indian community to enjoy following the arrival of SS Empire Windrush.

The day saw music as Trinidadian musician Russell Henderson got involved in playing the steel pans which saw people get involved and start dancing.

Over the years, Notting Hill Carnival has grown with an average of two million attending every year.

It now has stages, a huge colourful parade, sound systems, steel pan competitions, dancing, food and activities for all to enjoy.