Carnivals are an annual celebration of life. Many carnival dancers parade down streets, wearing extravagent costumes that are bright and colourful, whilst entertaining the large growds. Many floats travel down the route of the carnival, adding to the estatic atmosphere. Many countries have their own carnivals. An example of this is the Rio Carnival, which is considered to be the largest carnival in the world. In London, there is the Notting Hill carnival-the biggest carribean style street parade in Europe & the 2nd largest in the world.

The Notting Hill Carnival

The 2011 Notting Hill Carnival
The 2011 Notting Hill Carnival

In 1958, the immigration of the West Indians caused tension between the native English and the Carribeans. This lead to unruly violence and riots. To unite the community, a indoor carnival was organised. In 1965, this all came together; ethnic groups were invited to join the festival, now known as the Notting Hill Carnival. The carnival parades down streets which the West Indians were atacked on. Each August bank holiday, the carnival attracts over 1 million visiters from around the world each year, over a period of 2 days. The carnival includes: colourful costumes, dancers, music, steel pans, decorated floats & 40 huge static sound systems. Whilst the carnival takes place on the Sunday and bank holiday of the last day off August, the streets are lined with stalls selling goods. Lead by the Caribean community, the celebration promotes cultural unity. Of all the West Indian islands, Trinidad has thestrongest influence on the carnival, but not the only.

The Rio Carnival

The largest and most famous in the world, the Rio Carnival takes place everywhere in Brazil, with the largest section
Carnival Rio de Janeiro
Carnival Rio de Janeiro

being Rio de Janeiro. From 40 days before Easter, the carnival rages on for 5 days, a celebration of Brazilian culture. Samba is the dance of the carnival; various samba schools compete against each other in many competitions. To open, the Carnival King receives the city's keys from the mayor, then the celebrations begin. The themes of the costumes are chosen by the various samba schools. Massive floats parade down each route, pushed by many people; engines are banned in the Rio Carnival. The official Samba Parade is held in an arena, called Sambodromo. The official competition is split into 10catergories, with a winner being picked from each one.There are 4 judges for each category, which sitinbooths
Rio Carnival Parade
Rio Carnival Parade
in theSambodromo. The samba schools are judged on the following categories: percussion band, sambasong, harmony, flow and spirit, theme, impression, floats and props, costumes, Vanguard group & flag bearer. It is an honour to win any one of these categories, so a lot of effort, money & time is put into the samba display. The tickets for the parade are extremely expensive, the cheapest ones being several hundreds of dollars. VIP seating can reach thousands of dollars, but includes a 3-course meal, easy access to facilities & an open bar. Also, the tickets sell out very fast, several months before the event.



Carnival Costumes
A Carnival Dancer
A Carnival Dancer

Carnival costumes are bright and extravagant, often based on a carnival theme. Most of the time, a group of carnival dancers ear the same costume, performing the same dance together.The costumesare made by bending metal & wire into shapes to fit around the dancers body. Next, paper mache or foam is applied around the frame to provide a base for the decoration.Many carnival costumes are very large. To finish, fabric is glued or sown on, then elaborately decorated, regarding the theme. Costumes are an huge aspect of any carnival; they add to the atmosphere.

Carnival Floats