Carnaval de Québec: The World’s Largest Winter Carnival
The tradition of the winter carnival first began in Québec in 1894 as part of a tradition to gather and celebrate before Lent. The first presentation of the Carnival, as it has come to be known today, began in 1955 and introduced the world to Bonhomme, the Carnival’s representative and symbol of winter revelry. As one of the snowiest cities in the world, Québec embraces the winter and presents a variety of attractions and activities representative of the city’s history and cultural traditions. From late January to mid-February, when the Carnival is hosted, Québec transforms itself into an outdoor winter city, complete with a full-sized ice palace dramatically situated across from the Parliament building and colorful nighttime parades to compliment the merriment of the festival atmosphere. Visitors to the Carnival can watch traditional Québécoise activities, which include dog sled races and a canoe race down the icy St. Lawrence. Another remarkable spectacle of the Carnival are the beautifully crafted ice and snow sculptures displayed throughout the city. With so much to do and see you’ll want to stay out all night, in which case, another Carnival tradition may be helpful for fighting the frigid winter temperatures, the Caribou, a festive local drink of vodka, brandy, sherry and port. Un très joyeux Carnaval!
Photos courtesy of Carnaval de Québec.
For detailed information: http://www.carnaval.qc.ca/
Additional coverage of the Winter Carnival