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Notting Hill Carnival

Photos by courtesy of Halden Photography

On the last weekend in August, London is the scene of a very spectacular event - the Notting Hill Carnival. In 2004, the world's second largest carnival parade is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The roots of Carribean carnival date back to the year 1833 when the Abolition of Slavery Act was announced in Trinidad. Celebrating their freedom, the black people of Trinidad took to the streets and had a great party with music and dance. The Carribean carnival was born.

Notting Hill CarnivalWhen in the 1950s a huge number of West Indian immigrants came to London, they also brought their traditions and music. Faced with racism and unemployment, those immigrants dreamt of having a festival that would bring together the people from the Notting Hill area. So dances and other musical events were organised in North London. At the beginning, those events took place in various halls, but in 1964 the first street festival took place in Notting Hill. It was a great success, so the parade took place year after year attracting ever more participants and spectators.

The Notting Hill Carnival now takes place on three successive days (Saturday to Monday). It has become a true multi-cultural event and everyone is welcome to participate.

Further Information

More fantastic photos (including e-cards, screensaver) and information on the Notting Hill Carnival: www.nottinghillcarnival.org.uk

Questions on the text

Answer the questions according to the text.

  • Where does the Notting Hill Carnival take place?

  • What did people celebrate in 1833?

  • The Notting Hill Carnival now goes on for how many days?
  • Many cultures take part in the Notting Hill Carnival.