Carnival as we know it today began in the late 18th century. When the French arrived in Trinidad they introduced the European festivities of Carnivale, or "farewell to the flesh," to mark the beginning of Lent. As their masters celebrated pre-Lent festivities, the West African slaves shipped to the Caribbean were allowed to carry out their own traditions of storytelling, drumming and dance. Similarly, as in Trinidad, carnival festivities in Brazil date back to the 18th century. Portuguese settlers in Brazil allowed the African community to join in the celebrations; this participation grew after the abolition of slavery.
After the abolition of slavery in the early 19th century, Carnival celebrations in Latin American and the Caribbean developed to mark the new found freedom, This was the birth of the African-Caribbean carnival arts that we know today, which continued to grow during the 20th century.
Brazil date back to the 18th century. Portuguese settlers in Brazil allowed the African community to join in the population. Caribana in Toronto, Labour Day in New York, Notting Hill Carnival in London and carnivals in Leicester, Nottingham, Reading and Manchester were all inspired by the Trinidad Carnival.
Carnival & Black Culture
Carnivals, particularly Notting Hill carnival, are one of only a few events that showcase African and Caribbean culture to wide audiences and provide a forum for those from BME backgrounds to explore their creativity.
Carnivals also provide an important link to the history of black communities in the UK and represent a hugely.
Carnival & Community Engagement
Community participation is a hugely significant part of Carnival arts - from its conception to the final performance. Many carnival bands involve the community in the artistic development of events, such as making costumes. Indeed, none of the UK's carnivals could take place without the committed support of numerous volunteers.