Hackney Carnival 2013: a local secret

  • Carnivals in London: Notting Hill

    If you live in London, as I do, and someone asks if you are going to Carnival, they mean the Notting Hill Carnival.  This is a two day event each August in West London. This year it advertised itself as Europe’s biggest street festival, celebrating the music and food of the Caribbean Islands.

    Hackney Carnival 2013

    Hackney Carnival 2013

    I’ve never been to the Notting Hill Carnival because when I grew up in the 1980s it had a reputation for trouble and violence.  And today, its simply too big for my tastes.  One of my good friends grew up in that area and said it was brilliant in the early days. You could walk around, chatting to people you knew and it had a great community feel.

    Hackney Carnival 2013

    Hackney Carnival 2013

    Other London Carnivals

    I wonder if this is one reason more carnivals are springing up in London.  There is the Carnaval del Pueblo in South London which feature Latin American cultures.

    Hackney Carnival 2013

    And this year I discovered that my own borough of Hackney has had a carnival for the past 6 years.  It must be a well kept secret because I only discovered its existence this year when I saw attached to some railings, a scrappy poster telling me about it.  It normally takes place in early August but for some reason was put back to the 15th of September.

    Hackney Carnival 2013 Notice the inventive wet weather costumes

    Hackney Carnival 2013 Notice the inventive wet weather costumes

    It was the first wet weekend after a glorious summer of sunshine.  It wasn’t until I heard the distant drumming that I remembered the Carnival was taking place. I dashed out with my camera to cover the end of the parade.  The lack of crowds allowed me easy access to take photographs.  And it certainly had that community, local feel to it.  I look forward to exploring it again, next summer.

    Hope you enjoy the gallery folks, as always click on any picture for a better view in gallery mode.

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