Notting Hill Carnival opens to heal Grenfell Tower fire

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-28 16:53:34|Editor: Song Lifang
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LONDON, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- London's biggest street party, Notting Hill Carnival, was held on Sunday in the shadow of Grenfell Tower fire that took more than 80 people's lives two months ago.

The carnival opened with performance of the charity single "Bridge Over Troubled Water" recorded by more than 50 stars including Stormzy and Craig David to raise money for those affected by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

A group of multi-faith prayers was held and doves were released at the official opening ceremony as an act of remembrance. The sound systems were turned off and all the carnival participants fell silent at 1400 GMT in tribute to the victims of the disaster. After one minute's silence, the crowd erupted into applause for the firefighters who worked laboriously to save survivors of the Grenfell fire.

Many carnival's attendees were wearing green costumes or accessories with the meaning of "green for Grenfell" to show "reverence and respect amidst the revelry".

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that although this year's carnival took place in a "context of sadness and sorrow," it was a celebration of London's diversity.

On the early morning of June 14, a massive fire broke out in the Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey apartment built in the 1970s in the west of London, and killed at least 80 people. It motivated extensive support for the community while also anger over accusations of mismanagement by the local authorities.

The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe and originated in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions.

However, because of the Grenfell Fire tragedy, this year's carnival had been endowed with further significance -- using its amazing array of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity to heal the local community.