Carnival of Cultures, Berlin

16 years ago 50,000 people took to the streets to watch the first parade of the Carnival of Cultures in Berlin. Over the weekend, the estimate was closer to a million, all drawn to the sounds, tastes and smells of this annual street festival and parade. We walked along the parade route, picking our way through crowds to get a glimpse of the floats and the performers, enjoying the novelty of a stroll down the middle of the road whilst cooks worked their stalls on the pavement and locals sunned themselves on their balconies as one of Berlin’s biggest street parties passed by beneath them.

For eight hours people danced, sung and played music. We only saw a fraction of the parade, but under a blue sky with drumbeats providing a rhythm, it was impossible not to be cheered by such a colourful celebration of cultures from around the world.

Words & Pictures: Paul Scraton

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