After nearly 50 successful annual celebrations, the world’s second biggest street festival is back with a bang. Thursday 13th August marked the official launch of Notting Hill Carnival 2015 which took place at St. Lucia High Commission in South Kensington.
The Notting Hill Carnival is a strong tradition which celebrates solidarity, progression and freedom among the Afro-Caribbean community. It allows millions of people from all races to come to together and share an experience which is reminiscent of a true Caribbean carnival. With 38 sound systems, a wide variety of food and drinks and over 50,000 performers, it is clear to see how Notting Hill Carnival has earned its title as Britain’s largest street festival.
This year’s launch of Notting Hill Carnival was nothing short of perfection as it gave a true insight into the meaning and importance of the event. The room was filled with prominent figures, including several affiliates of the Notting Hill Carnival Trust, Senior Members from the Metropolitan police as well as other stakeholders of Notting Hill Carnival. Members from the Hungarian High Commission also came to show homage.
The night commenced with a sophisticated performance of the St Lucia’s National Anthem on a saxophone, which was a great way to reiterate our presence within a diplomatic premises with a long West Indian tradition. This was then followed by a vast array of wonderful performances including a short play titled ‘Carnival Madea’ by Roma Spence, Steel Band Acts and lovely traditional dances from The Moraldo Young Children Band.
But what would a Carnival launch party be without some appetizing food? The evening came to a close with a reception filled with several mouth-watering Caribbean dishes which had everyone queuing up just to taste a piece of paradise in their mouth. This was also an opportunity for everyone to take memorable pictures with some of the performers and beautiful women who were gracefully prancing around in their wonderful Carnival costumes.
With such a fun fuelled evening, we definitely cannot wait for Notting Hill Carnival, which is luckily only a couple of days away!
Top 5 Tips for Surviving Carnival.
1. Comfortable Footwear
Keep your footwear flat and comfortable. No one is going to carry your nor is it safe to walk around carnival barefooted.
2. Stay Hydrated
Dancing, screaming & blowing your horn will definitely get you thirsty and tired. Make sure you u sip on water throughout the day, this will also help lessen the effects of a hangover.
3. Arrange a meeting place
Noting is worse than losing your friends in carnival. The reception on both days will be extremely limited, arrange a place to meet, which is memorable and easy to get to, in case you get carried away dancing with a float and lose your comrades.
4. Plan where you are going to eat
The best part of carnival is definitely the food! Jerk chicken, Plantain, Rice & Peas, Corn on the Cob. Mmm Yum. So you can be sure the food is cooked thoroughly find out from friends or family who have previously gone, where the best places are to eat.
Shades of Noir recommends picking up a patty from Yummies and a jerk chicken burger from Boom Burger.
5. PARTY HARD!
Carnival comes once a year! The biggest and best street party in Europe, don’t waste the day! PARTY like a ROCKSTAR. Go with your best friends, take lots of pictures and don’t forget to wear sunglasses on the way to work the next day.
Have a fantastic carnival and let me know what tips you will give to a carnival newbie.