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Notting Hill Carnival - Digital 2020

August bank holiday weekend tradition states that many of us would be making our last preparations for Europe’s biggest street party; Notting Hill Carnival. Last touches to costumes, setting up the sound systems, getting the drinks for the day on deck, and being ready to wuk and whine! As with most things this year, the pandemic has made things a little different.

For the first time in its 54-year history, Carnival is moving online to take place virtually across the bank holiday weekend. Kicking off with a countdown on the big screen at Piccadilly Circus, this weekend will see an array of video and music online to celebrate the event.

Whilst we’re sad that a parade that draws more than a million people a year is unable to go ahead, we’re still determined to celebrate the rich Caribbean heritage the UK has no matter where we are - living room included! So as we get ready to wave our flags and let the music play, here are 5 facts about Notting Hill Carnival.

  • The event was started in 1966 by Trinidadian human rights activist Claudia Jones, who after a series of racially motivated attacks, wanted to unify the community and celebrate all that Caribbean culture has brought to the UK.

  • Notting Hill Carnival is the largest in Europe and second-largest in the world - 11 times bigger than Glastonbury

  • There are five different aspects to Carnival: masquerade, sound systems, steelpan drums, calypso, and soca

  • Mas camps, who make the costumes, will spend all year preparing for Notting Hill Carnival. There are roughly 15,000 costumes every year that are estimated to take 1 million man-hours to craft by hand.

  • Notting Hill Carnival is definitely a big supporter of London’s economy. It’s estimated that Carnival contributes £93 million; much coming from the over 300 food stalls set up at the festival.

How are you celebrating Carnival this year? What are some of your favourite memories and what will you miss this year? Let us know! Follow Black Happiness Matters on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and stay tuned to our website or BHM Club newsletter for even more happiness content and reasons to keep smiling.

Sources for images

Notting Hill Carnival

AFP/Getty images

Credit: Rex Features

no copyright infringement is intended

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