Notting Hill – Carnival attacks all your senses
Twerking. Jerking. Dancing. Prancing. Jerk chicken. Rice and pies. Plantain. Red. Blue. Orange. Yellow. Reggae. Steel bands. Calypso. Funk.
Notting Hill Carnival is an attack on the senses that can’t begin to be explained by typing a few words.
They don’t even go close to conveying the noise and views that help make up this incredible event.
And the smell of sweaty dancing bodies, alcohol, delicious freshly cooked foods and a thousand other nostril tingling sensations is impossible to describe.
The largest street festival in Europe, Notting Hill Carnival was born in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions.
These days the celebrations are a reflection of multi-cultural Britain, with revellers from all different backgrounds, cultures, creeds and of all different colours dancing in the streets or just taking in the music.
Bank Holiday Monday’s adult day saw thousands taking to the streets, with – certainly at the time we visited – virtually no trouble.
Rather than attempt to describe the whole, here are just of few of the sights and sounds that helped make carnival day what it is:
- A Rastafarian gentleman tugging on the biggest reefa ever seen and swinging his hips in time with booming reggae, playing out live down a side street
- Six super toned lads bopping down the road as part of the parade, complete with huge cigars and carafes of some type of strong looking liquor
- A policeman being given little chance but to dance with shimmying girls, and slowly getting into his part
- The wonder of tucking into jerk chicken, rice and peas – complete with a sauce that could put Levi Roots out of business
- Incredible costumes that at the same time barely cover their wearer’s body yet stretch out in a flurry of feathers
- Larger ladies twerking to their heart’s content. I don’t know if fat bottomed girls make the rockin’ world go round, but they certainly make the Notting Hill Carnival tick
- A scraggy looking woman tucking into a can of Special Brew as if in celebration that this is one day when she can drink on the street with no comeback
- The shudder that goes through your heart, body and soul when a sound system is cranked to the max
- Drinking from a fresh coconut – with or without added rum
- A stranger offering a miniature bottle of wine to you – just because it’s carnival day…