NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL Coloured fabrics & vibrant music. The largest street festival in Europe (first in1964) as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their cultures. August Bank Holiday, the carnival is an amazing array of sounds, sights & social solidarity. The Caribbean carnivals of the early 19th century were about celebrating the abolition of the slave trade. The costumes mimic the European fashions of their former masters - the tradition continues in today’s costume-making.