Carnival and me!
The bands are tuning their instruments, the dancers are polishing their shoes and the colourful costumes have their finishing touches put on, to get ready for the extravagant parade through the streets of London this summer.
The anticipation of this celebration awakens a nostalgic feeling in me taking me back to my native Barbados.
Where the build-up of Kadooment Day starts at the end of May and ends in a finale on the first Monday in August.
Linked to the sugar cane harvest, its origins can be traced back to the 1780’s, a time when Barbados was the world’s largest producer of sugar. At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest – the Crop Over celebration.
As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over Festival and in the 1940’s the festival was terminated completely. However, the festival was revived in 1974 and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to create the extravaganza as we know it today. I was only a boy of 11 when these celebrations first started in the 70’s. As I grew up, I found myself getting involved in the merriment of partying for months by Dee Jaying around the island, and providing the sizzling, spirited sounds we Caribbean people so love and cherish. Bet you never knew I was a DJ huh 😉
Now it is an event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe to celebrate this festival alongside Caribbean Communities in such places as Canada, England and the USA.
I am honoured to partake in the preparations for the London Carnival. I have been asked again by Martin Jay to photograph their band in preparation for the launch of Funatik Mas Band on May 5th 2014. The beautiful costumes were shot by Peter Branch at Powerhouse Studios, Rayners Lane.
This year’s Notting Hill Carnival will be taking place August 24th and August 25th. So come out for the bank holiday week-end and bring all the family, young and old to view the beautifully costumed Masqueraders from along the route.
Food and drinks are sold roadside, so you can enjoy the spectacle as massive music floats pass by, with Deejays and Live Bands to entertain the huge crowds with Caribbean tunes that make you feel like summer time has truly arrived. Get your costume here and play mas with Funatik this year. Join me, you know you want to!
This post was Co-written by Nelia Freitas.