Saturday, 27 August 2011

Our History

The roots of the Notting Hill Carnival began in Trinidad where the first carnival was held in 1833 to mark an end to slavery in the Caribbean.
During the late 1950s, a great many Caribbean immigrants traveled to the UK, bringing with them a wealth of culture, musical traditions and sumptuous cuisine. However, racial tensions of the era subjected the community to constant pressures. Their dream was to one day, bring the people of London together in a way that would embrace and celebrate Caribbean culture while uplifting a community facing racism, lack of working opportunities and poor housing conditions.

The first carnival took place in 1964, encouraging people, both black and white, to go into the streets and express themselves socially as well as artistically, and by 1976 this distinctly Caribbean event was attracting around 150,000 people.

The spirit, courage and determination of the hundreds of London-based Caribbean people who fought for freedom and justice, have transformed the Notting Hill Carnival from a hazy dream into Europe’s premier cultural arts festival that is recognised throughout the world today.

The essence of the Notting Hill Carnival is embodied by the five Artistic Arenas - Calypso, Mas (masquerade), Pan (steel bands) and the Mobile and Static Sound Systems, all combining to make this event unlike any other in the world.