Notting Hill Carnival

One of my best memories from my weekend trip to London was the carnival in the streets of Notting Hill. The carnival takes place once a year in Notting Hill and unfortunately I wasn't able to attend at all of the events, but I was able to experience the J'ouvert celebration.

I met up with a few people, Ida, Linn & Moa, who had bought tickets for the entire event, and I was happy to join them as I had already been alone a couple of days (and to be honest, I was getting bored just hanging out with myself). Look at how happy Ida looks!

Before the march started.
There were big trucks playing loud music and pouring drinks, and loads of people following these trucks, or should I say dancing alongside the trucks. I was surprised when Ida told me that this dancing train would last from 11 in the morning till 7 in the evening, but I wasn't going to be that boring person who gives up and goes home before everyone else. Na-ah.

It didn't even feel like I was in London anymore but somewhere in the Caribbean, even though rain was pouring down like crazy. Everyone had these huge smiles on their faces, as you all know, happiness is contagious. I never thought I would have so much fun dancing in the rain. Like I didn't even care that I couldn't twerk like everyone else, I was doing my own thing.

Anyway, because of the rain I didn't take a lot of pictures, but before we started our dancing march, I got to document a few marching bands.

Ida had prepared me beforehand that I should wear clothes that I didn't care about. At the J'ouvert celebrations it's common that people cover their bodies with paint, powder or even chocolate. It's also common to splash colors or chocolate around you.

I remember getting some chocolate milk in my eyes, thinking that this would be the end, that this would be the moment I would fall on the pavement and be stomped to death by dancing strangers. I couldn't see anything. Instead one of these strangers, stopped and removed the milk from my eyes so that I could see again. I felt so much love for him/her.

I read somewhere that the point of being covered in chocolate or color is that your barely recognizable and everything is possible. That this tradition manifests our need as humans to let go of our daily worries, to let go of ourselves just this once. And I gotta say, that's exactly how it felt. Like we were all letting go.

That been said, after five hours I was tired, cold and wet. I started feeling like a zombie and decided that is was OK to be that person who leaves before everyone else, cause the day had been magical, and my needs were fulfilled..


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