The Kitchen Carnival

Street processions have been cancelled since 2019, but you can enjoy our digital performance created especially for Hackney Carnival Online and learn how to make your own costumes and instruments here.

Everyone is invited to join in from home with the Kitchen Carnival. You can make your costumes and instruments from things you have in your kitchen. To perform in the Carnival, post your photos and videos online using the hash tag #kitchencarnival and/or send them to us to upload here


We are celebrating the Mas traditions of Trinidad and Tobago, focussing in 2021 on Bat characters (in 2022 we will be celebrating Fancy Sailors). Bats can traditionally be brown, black or white, but we have included silver as a variation of white. Bats are the only flying mammal – you can find out more about real bats here. Here are some simple costumes that you can make using things from the kitchen – or you can design your own.

Once you’ve made your wings, it’s time to create a Bat dance or take a selfie. Create your own sound track with our Kitchen Carnival percussion instruments below – there are also some Bat-themed songs linked here. Bats sleep – ‘roost’ – by hanging upside down with their wings folded. Once you are in full costume, ask someone to help you take a selfie in the kitchen with your arms folded and eyes shut. Turn it upside down to see yourself roost.


Percussion instruments have been made and played for thousands of years, usually created from the things we have around us. The Carnival percussion instruments of the Caribbean and South America were developed by enslaved peoples after they were refused access to drums.

Once you have made your instruments, you can join in with our 2019 Carnival Percussion Workshops with Xi-mali Kadeena-Guscos. (Yes, we did recycle the bottles – our infection control policy means that everything served at events is pre-packaged.)

Kitchen Carnival Designs by ju90