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10 Dares During the Notting Hill Carnival

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by Jo Ellis (subscribe)
Travel blogger, music lover & disaster magnet.
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Only once a year a district of London turns into a festive magical land where anything is possible. In the midst of neon lights, onesies, extravagant costumes, wigs and, well, booze, the crowds show their cheekiest moves as they follow the charismatic parade. Even the policemen get their groove on and join the merry-making. This three-day period where people twerk in the middle of the street in broad daylight is known as the Notting Hill Carnival, one of the largest street festivals in the world.

Notting Hill Carnival
Claudia Cano-Manuel

Since this is a festival where you can do what you wouldn't during the rest of the year, I'd like to pass my legacy from last year, so I have 10 dares for any carnival-goer.

One of the parades at Notting Hill Carnival
Claudia Cano-Manuel

1. Do a dance dare
Hopefully you'll have some friends filming while you dance next to a stranger without them noticing. And when they turn around and notice you, you can just caress your hair, play cool and walk away.

2. Tattoo your name on a stranger's arm
Take a sharpie with you. You don't want to take ages trying to write your name on a stranger's arm with a pen. Awkward.

Notting Hill Carnival
Claudia Cano-Manuel

3. Hug a stranger
Here's an easy one. People offer free hugs these days, so why not?

4. Sing 'Call me maybe' to a stranger
The advantage of Notting Hill Carnival is that you can do a dare like this and you can just walk away and never see them again, which might be more difficult in a nightclub or a party where you might have to bump into them again and feel embarrassed.

5. Get a picture with a policeman
Luckily, policemen in London are usually friendly, but they are extra nice during the carnival, so this is your chance to man up and get a legendary picture with a law enforcement officer.

Notting Hill Carnival
Claudia Cano-Manuel

6. Get a piggy ride from a stranger
If you ever dreamt of asking a stranger for a piggy ride, this is the time to do it. Since the Notting Hill Carnival takes place in the open--air, you won't get any waitress pulling your foot to come back down.

7. Photobomb someone
In this festivity, you'll get a million opportunities to play this prank.

8. Paint your face like a clown or a flag or any festive decoration. Otherwise, wear a costume, a mask, a onesie or ballet tutu. You know you want to.

Notting Hill Carnival
Claudia Cano-Manuel

9. Use a cheesy line a stranger
Just like other dares, you can always run for the hills and laugh afterwards, but who knows? You might end up finding your perfect match.

10. Convince a stranger that you are friends from school
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