7 cultural festivals to check out in London this summer

London is an incredibly multicultural place. Over 270 different nationalities make up the fabric of the city. With this mix of nationalities comes a diverse range of music, food and languages and that makes it a great place to immerse yourself and learn about different cultures whilst having a great time.

Below is our run-down of top cultural festivals happening in the city this summer so get together, learn about other cultures, have fun and make new friends:

Hola London-22nd July

This July, London will welcome some of the biggest names in Latin music as stars from the Dominican Republic, Colombia and Spain take over the O2 for a day of music dancing and street food.

There will be music by Grammy award winners Juan Luis Guerra and Juanes, David Bisbal and Sebastián Yatra.  Plus there’ll be a Spanish and Latin American street food fair, serving up authentic bites.  This festival is all about increasing awareness of and creating understanding of the vibrant cultural heritage of Latin American countries and most of all having fun!

Holi One -29th July

Loosely inspired by the Indian Holi fest, this is about promoting the ideas of togetherness through a day of fun. The vibrant event features the throwing of brightly coloured powders as festival-goers dance to music and enjoy stunning art installations and performance pieces. We’ve included this one because, despite its tenuous links to the festival of Holi, it aims to foster a sense of community and oneness- and we think that a clear reason to be included!

Naija in the Park- 5th August

Naija in the Park is an annual Arts and Culture festival. Connect with Nigerian culture and enjoy memorable performances, workshops and competitions that highlight the country’s colourful culture. Authentic Nigerian Arts and Crafts will be on sale, as well as live music, traditional Nigerian food and a fun fair for the kids.

Notting Hill Carnival – 27th to 28th August

London’s Notting Hill Carnival is one of the largest and most well-known street festivals in the world.  The carnival celebrates diversity and aims to overcome racial tensions.  And this is the way to do it- throw a massive party, welcome all and get everyone dancing in the streets! Music ranges from reggae to dub to salsa and the jerk chicken is a must.

You can read more about Notting Hill Festival in our previous post here.

Oktoberfest-28th Sept-8th October

When you think of Oktoberfest, you might instantly think of beer tasting-but that’s just part of the activities on offer.   Food sellers will be serving up traditional Bavarian foods such as Bratwurst, Schnitzel and Pretzels for you to try whilst listening to authentic Oompa music and great German Schlager.

Africa On The Square-14th October

Africa on the Square is organised by the Mayor of London as part of the celebrations surrounding Black History Month.  This is a celebration of African arts and culture taking place in London’s Trafalgar Square. This is a hugely popular event, attracting over 25,000 people.  There’s a range of things to do and get involved in, including a talent show, dancing, fashion catwalk and lots of fun stuff for kids.  Best of all, it’s absolutely free!

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Diwali Festival-15th October

And if you’re not totally partied out from the above, the very next day Trafalgar Square is hosting an event to celebrate the Hindu, Sikh and Jain Festival of Lights.  This is the 15th year of the Diwali celebration on the Square, featuring contemporary Asian music and dance, contemporary stage performances and delicious food from India and beyond.

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