THE spectacular Huddersfield Carnival returns this week.

Huddersfield Carnival is in its 27th year, having grown from one float in the Mayor’s parade to become the largest festival in the Kirklees calendar, attracting an audience of over 40,000.

And once again on Saturday, the event will showcase local communities developing and displaying their talents in costume design, music, dance and drama. The festival will start at midnight on Friday, with J’ouvert, now in its third year.

This is a French abbreviation meaning ‘opening of day’ and signals the start of the Carnival. J’ouvert is highly traditional and full of symbols of culture and heritage. It is steeped in tradition and playing ‘Mud Mas’ involves participants known as Jab Jabs covering themselves, and others, in paint, chocolate mud or white powder, followed by a short parade through Huddersfield.

On Saturday, the main Carnival parade gets under way at 2pm from the Hudawi Centre, winding its way through the streets of Huddersfield to St George’s Square.

Bands will display an array of flamboyant costumes and will parade to the square where each band will have the opportunity to take to the stage.