Notting Hill Carnival: London in a ‘blaze of colour’ as event marks 55th year

The carnival also commemorated the Windrush generation and Grenfell fire victims

Notting Hill Carnival attendee in bright feathered costume
Notting Hill Carnival is world-famous for bright costumes and feathers
(Image credit: Sama Kai/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

The sun was shining as two million revellers massed on the streets of west London over the weekend for the 55th Notting Hill Carnival.

The annual event is the “largest carnival of its type in Europe, and the second in the world”, said Metro. This year's celebration kicked off on Sunday in a “blaze of colour”, said the BBC, as “thumping sound systems accompanied colourful feathered bands”.

The party continued into Bank Holiday Monday, with spectators enjoying a “spectacle of music, dancers and steel bands”, The Mirror reported.

The carnival is “all about the flair, the audacity, the crowds”, said the London Evening Standard, and is a “true celebration of all things Caribbean”.

But there were quiet moments of reflection too, with the sound systems turned off for 72 seconds on both Sunday and Monday in tribute to the victims of the Grenfell fire.

This year’s carnival also marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush, the passenger liner that brought one of the first groups of postwar Caribbean immigrants to the UK.

Dancer Patsy Hayward, who has been taking part in the parade since she was eight, told The Guardian that marking the Windrush anniversary was “about celebrating people who have been here through the struggle, some of whom are still struggling”.

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Rebekah Evans joined The Week as newsletter editor in 2023 and has written on subjects ranging from Ukraine and Afghanistan to fast fashion and "brotox". She started her career at Reach plc, where she cut her teeth on news, before pivoting into personal finance at the height of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis. Social affairs is another of her passions, and she has interviewed people from across the world and from all walks of life. Rebekah completed an NCTJ with the Press Association and has written for publications including The Guardian, The Week magazine, the Press Association and local newspapers.