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London's Notting Hill Carnival gets underway for its 55th year

Participants taking part in the Children's Day Parade, part of the Notting Hill Carnival celebration in London, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2023.   -  
Copyright © africanews
Yui Mok/PA

United Kingdom

Revellers gathered in the London neighbourhood of Notting Hill on Sunday (Aug. 27) to celebrate the annual Notting Hill Carnival.

The 2-day Carnival returned to England's capital for its 55th year.

Elaborately dressed performers danced through the streets while carnival-goers of all ages cheered along.

"We come every year. Especially it’s important to show our children the Caribbean history, our parents coming over here and what they used to do. So it’s carrying on the tradition of coming to the carnival," Michael Denys, a learning mentor says.

The festival evolved out of the Windrush generation. This generation refers to migrants from the West Indies who emigrated to the United Kingdom for post-Second World War employment.

The passing of time has not altered the festival's atmosphere.

"The vibe hasn’t really changed, what’s changed is the technology. So you’ve got the…instead of you having all the live bands, now you have DJs," artist Jenny Bardoville, reveals.

Notting Hill Carnival is one of the longest running street parties in the world and the largest in Europe. Some two milion were set to attend. Among them, families and music lovers.

"Actually, we’ve only come to Notting Hill Carnival twice before, so it’s really special to come back for the third time with Dad for his first time, because he’s English and my Mum is Trinidadian, so it’s nice to blend the two cultures together," Sheila Dines says.

Decorated float vehicles, sound system stages and food stalls filled the streets untill Monday (Aug. 28).

This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the docking of HMT Empire Windrush, carrying passengers from the Caribbean invited to the UK.

Several hundred passengers were Jamaican, but others arrived from islands including Trinidad, St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados.

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