This bank holiday many people in London will come out to the UK’s biggest street party, the Notting Hill Carnival. Some will play mas, some will come out with family and friends to watch the spectacle of colour, costume and theatre of Afro-Caribbean culture. Whilst many will enjoy the fun and frolics of dancing and  drinking.  How many of us understand the who’s and whys of this magnificent display of culture and arts that brings the summer to sweet end?

Carnival originated as a festival in ancient Egypt which was subsequently celebrated by the Greeks and Romans, it was later adopted by the Catholic Christian church as the festival of Carne (flesh) Vale(farewell), i.e. farewell to the flesh. This was  the last  celebratory feast before Ash Wednesday marking the beginning of Lent.

European enslavers transported the festival to the Caribbean in the 1700s where they held masked balls which was…

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