Since moving to London, my year hasn’t rolled over at the New Year with everybody else’s. Maybe it’s because I moved to London in July before the London Olympics, and maybe it’s because for me, the Notting Hill Carnival is the event that so much of my year is hinged around, but the last bank holiday in August is when my year begins.
Our team hosts a camp called Bones and Arise Camp for the last ten days of August every year, leading up to the Notting Hill Carnival, the second largest carnival in the world. People from all over the world come to join us as we prepare to go out into the Carnival to meet the million visitors to our neighbourhood. We play drums, walk on stilts, and hit the streets in costumes.
My favourite part of the Carnival is that, for once, everybody wants to get to know each other. They come out to make new friends and to have a good time together, which is not normal for London. Last year, we had a street party in the street outside of the church where we held the camp, and we got to meet loads of strangers from all over the world.