London has always embraced diverse cultures and traditions while keeping its individuality whole. You can witness this wholeness in festival events. The colorful celebrations, energetic spirits, and the excitement among Londoners make London festivals a truly memorable experience. The food festivals, music festivals, dance shows, countless parties, and the fireworks make London truly a festive city. Here are some of the more popular festivals in London.
City of London Festival
The City of London Festival is held in June and July. It is mainly a celebration of art, architecture, music, and film. From jazz to world music, from the contemporary to the classical, this festival promotes a broad range of styles performed and sung by some of the leading artists in the world.
The London Parade is one of the greatest street festivals in Europe that happens on New Years Day. It features over 10,000 performers, representing more than a dozen countries. The street performers assemble in the center of the city bringing music, laughter, and merriment to the excited crowds. This festival in London usually starts at 12 noon in Parliament Square and it ends on Piccadilly, at Berkeley Street at about 3 pm.
Notting Hill Carnival
One London festival that attracts a huge crowd is the Notting Hill Carnival. Started in 1964, it is an explosion of culture, food, and fun. The Notting Hill Festival is now the largest street festival in Europe. Around 2 million revelers pass through the streets of west London. It happens every August over 2 days (Sunday and the next bank holiday).
Rise Festival (London United)
Formerly known as the Respect Festival, the Rise festival is an open-air free event. It celebrates the great multicultural city and makes a stand against racism. This one-day festival features pop, rock, world music, and a wide range of family entertainment. Due to the events following the London bombings, it was renamed London United.
Lord Mayor’s Show
The Lord Mayor’s Show started in 1215 when King John granted a Charter that allowed the City’s people to elect their mayor. The procession today takes place annually every 2nd Saturday of November. It is watched by tens of thousands of people, with about 5,500 participants, 2,000 military personnel, hundreds of motor vehicles, horses, floats, marching bands, carriages and the celebrated State Coach.
St. Patrick’s Day
One of the most well-known London festivals festivals is St. Patrick’s Day. This celebration marks the important contribution of the Irish communities to London – historically, socially, and economically. The Irish community is the largest minority group in the city, with about 400,000 residents of Irish descent. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every 17th of March.