The Fantastic Notting Hill Carnival!

I'm not quite sure where to begin! I had heard from friends and family that the Notting Hill Carnival was one of London's must-do events, so I marked it in my diary months in advance. I knew it was a celebration of West-Indian culture and there might be a parade and some jerk chicken but that was pretty much it. I was certainly in for a surprise! As we crossed Holland Park to enter Notting Hill, it became clear that all of London and half the world were there that day. Apparently each year it attracts over one million people, making it one of the largest street festivals worldwide. 

People spilled onto the streets and joined in with the moving anaconda of color and music. The energy and the atmosphere was infectious and before long I was dancing and trying to simultaneously photograph all the amazing scenes around me. There were people of all ages and races just cutting loose and having a good time, smiling, clapping, dancing, watching, listening, simply feeling the moment. It was complete chaos in the streets, smoke billowing from food tents, people climbing on signposts, drunk friends staggering together arm in arm, feathered party-goers gyrating on policemen, kids having water fights..the list is endless. Everywhere you went you saw people smiling, just genuinely happy to be part of such a powerful celebration. I think that was what really resonated with me, the pure happiness that surrounded it. We followed the route for a few hours and then went for a drink on our friends roof terrace, surveying the madness from above. After a little recuperation we got back to the action on the streets before heading home as the sun went down. It was truly euphoric and I can safely say it was one of the best days I have had in a long time.

I can't wait until next year!