Carnival in the UK is held annually on the last weekend in August with the main carnival parade on the bank holiday Monday.
Here are 7 must do things when attending carnival.
1 Watch the parade – The carnival parade can take several hours to go around the the various roads and streets on route. Make sure to get a good roadside position so you can enjoy the carnival as it parades past the huge crowds.
2 Join in and enjoy the atmosphere – If you are fit and able why not follow the parade around dancing to the amazing sounds of calypso music, soca high energy tunes and music from the traditional steel drums. Even if you are just watching from the roadside the rhythm will get you dancing.
3 Taste the food – Most regular visitors to the carnival look forward to the delicious and tasty food available from the many stalls scattered around the event. The sight and smell of the smoke from the barbecues really gets your taste buds going. Make sure you try the traditional Caribbean spicey bbq jerk chicken and the favourite curry goat with rice and peas. Also on offer you will find tasty sweetcorn, dumplings and patties and of course sugar cane.
4 Make some noise – bring or buy a whistle and make sure you blow it loud as the parade passes.
5 Take loads of pictures – The carnival costumes are vibrant and colourful and you will have plenty of photo opportunities.
6 Arrange a meeting place – Have a pre-arranged meeting place if you do lose the people you are with, chances are the mobile phone networks will be very busy so you may not be able to make phone calls.
7 Enjoy the day and stay safe – Carnival is a great atmosphere but at times there can be huge amounts of people crammed into small places. If taking children make sure you hold on to them as you can easily lose each other in the crowds.
The largest and most famous carnival in the UK is Londons Notting Hill Carnival visited by millions of people but did you know the oldest and longest running carnival in Europe is actually the Leeds West Indian Carnival. The Leeds carnival was started by a gentleman called Arthur France M.B.E in 19967 who is still very much actively involved.
The celebrations in Leeds start on Sunday with a reggae concert held in Potternewton Park and a full day of music, culture and Carnival parade on the Monday.
Below is a video from the 2013 Leeds West Indian Carnival parade.