The Notting Hill Carnival is on every Summer in London, and people around the world always make the effort to attend what is known as one of the biggest streets parties in the world.
Each year, close to one million people attend this celebration of Caribbean heritage. Between street vendors selling foods inspired by the Caribbean culture, and 3 full days of music, it’s hard to not want to join the party.
The first ever mention of the Caribbean celebrations date back to 1959, when the event was hosted in St. Pancras Town Gall in London. The original celebrations were put together to settle down the race relations between indigenous British residents and Caribbean natives. Trinidad journalist Claudia Jones is known as being the first and more influential spokesperson for the festival as she published an article about the event in a black motif newspaper.
The first event in 1959 spurred on the yearly carnival that includes a large parade with speakers sharing Caribbean history, colourful traditions, displays of historical culture and much more.
The main symbol representing the carnival as well as the impact of Caribbean immigrants arriving in the UK is the Windrush ship, which brought over colonies of immigrants to come to the UK after the devastation of Britain’s working population due to World War 2.
The name Windrush was then used to label the communities that came to London between 1948 and 1971. It isn’t clear exactly how many people immigrated during that time period but this influx ended in 1971 with the Immigration Act, where Commonwealth citizens already living in the UK were given the rights to remain in the UK.
The annual party is organised and managed by the people of the British West Indian communities and is a very significant event for the Black British culture in London. With close to 1 million people attending the party, the United Kingdom have voted in 2006 to add the carnival to the famous list of icons of England, along with The Beatles, Big Ben and James Bond.
Have you ever attended what is known as one of the biggest street parties in the world? Is there any other parts of history you feel are significant for the celebrations? Please share your photos with us on social media or let us know in the comments how you feel about the event.
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